Godby’s O-lineman Wiggins tackles academics first

YOUTH OF THE YEAR

Jordan Wiggins

 

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer

As much as Jordan Wiggins has accomplished on the football field for Godby High School, he hasn’t lost sight of what’s important when it comes to life off the field.

 
“Academics are more important than the field because without academics I can’t be on the field,” Wiggins said. “I always hold myself accountable with my academics first and then football.”

 
That’s no cliché. It shows in his 4.0 grade point average as a senior who has attained National Merit Scholar standards.
Stands the reason that Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale have expressed interest in having the 6-foot-4, 240-pound offensive tackle on their football teams.

 
“School has never been a challenge to me because it has always been just go to class, pay attention and do my work,” said Wiggins. “I always make sure I do my work.”

 
For good reason. He plans to study medicine in college with an eye on a career as an anesthesiologist.

 
What he’s accomplished on the football field and in the classroom made Jordan a unanimous choice to be named the Capital Outlook’s Youth of the Year. He relishes the honor.

 
“It really makes me feel like what I do in the classroom doesn’t go unnoticed, although it’s a very big school,” he said. “It’s a very good feeling being honored.”

 
As good as he has become at executing his duties to keep Cougars quarterback Rasean McKay protected on his blind side, Wiggins didn’t have the advantage of playing much football at the youth level. He had to leave Tallahassee for awhile because of what he described as “a family situation.”

 
The commute between Tallahassee and Miami caused him to miss four years of playing, starting when he was in elementary school at Bethel Christian Academy. He returned to Tallahassee middle school and ended up playing basketball at BCA briefly before finishing seventh and eighth grade at Springwood school

 
All the time he yearned to get back on the football field, he said. He didn’t seem to miss a beat when his time came as a ninth-grader at Godby, skipping junior varsity play.

 
Growing into his role, however, took some time, said offensive line coach Brandon McCray.

 
“His maturity level has grown so much over the past year,” said McCray. “I guess his mindset has caught up with how his body looks. That’s a big jump for playing football.

 
“With his body frame, he has the productivity as far as being long and being able to engage guys when they are far away from him. He takes a lot of pride in keeping the quarterback upright. It’s something he works at very hard from day to day.”

 
Wiggins, who also competes in weightlifting and track and field for the Cougars, said he doesn’t take his role of avoiding attacks on his quarterback lightly.

 
“It’s a big responsibility,” said Wiggins. “I just look at it as being my job. I’ve got to go out there and protect him.”


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