Listed at 6-foot and 200 lbs. on the depth chart, this simply does not do safety James Wiggins justice. Originally committed to the University of Miami, James Wiggins, a.k.a. Wig, a.k.a. the Freak wanted to escape Florida, having been there his entire life. Thankfully for us UC fans, he wound up far, far way here in Clifton.
Coach Steve Clinkscale was responsible for recruiting Wiggins to UC. Coming out of high school in Homestead, Florida, Wig was listed as the #13 cornerback in Florida. He turned down offers from Miami (FL), Louisville, and UCF, among others, to join the Bearcats.
Wiggins wears #32. Although his number is #6, Perry Young will not be giving up his jersey anytime soon.
The Freak is just built different. You can see it on gamedays. You can see it almost anywhere. Standing on the sidelines at practice on this humid Tuesday afternoon in September, James looks as if the Greek Gods themselves chiseled his body out of stone. No, Brady Collins does not force 12 protein shakes down his throat every day, Wiggins simply has always been this way. A winner of some mighty fine genetics, both of his parents were successful athletes. His dad, a football player, and his mother, a track star, both in the talent-rich Miami area.
So how did Wiggins earn the nickname Freak? Well, Coach Collins witnessed in awe as James squatted 455 pounds (13 times, mind you) during an early squat day. The rest is history, so they say. Just a small glimpse of his raw talent and power, during the Miami (OH) game this year, Wiggins crushed a ballcarrier. Not targeting. Not unsportsmanlike conduct. Just a grown a$$ man play. And it was fun to watch as a fan.
The Freak had a pivotal pick against UCLA. He has 14 tackles, two pass breakups, two tackles for loss, and a few special teams returns on the season through three games. The UC secondary is fun to watch again, and the Freak is a big reason why.
A fan of cheeseburgers, Chinese food, and everything in between, Wiggins loves to eat. A criminal justice major, James is enjoying school. All smiles all the time – he doesn’t have any fears. I guess I wouldn’t either if I could bench 405 lbs. and crush human skulls.
By Andy Smith
Thanks for reading along! If you’re not familiar with the Bearcats Sports Radio story, beyond creating sports-related content, I am a Dad, Attorney with Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP, and a lover of all things University of Cincinnati (and America). If you ever want to connect, shoot me a DM on Twitter.