Speculation turned into confirmation Thursday afternoon, as former Georgia cornerback Shaq Wiggins and former Texas A&M wide receiver JaQuay Williams announced that they will transfer to Louisville.
Wiggins made the announcement on Twitter, posting a picture of he and Williams adorned from head-to-toe in Cardinals swag:
Me and Jaquay Williams are official Louisville Cardinals. Thank God for the opportunities he has given us. pic.twitter.com/PjKR3u0bj4— Shaquille Wiggins (@ShaqWiggins6) May 22, 2014
Wiggins and Williams were teammates at Sandy Creek High School in Georgia and are both big additions for the Cardinals.
Williams is 6'4" and was an Auburn commit and the No. 100 overall player on the 247Sports Composite in 2012. After failing to qualify academically, he spent the year at Fork Union Military Academy, a prep school in Virginia. He spurned the Tigers to play for Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M last season, but he struggled to get on the field, finishing with just four catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Wiggins was the best young surprise in Georgia's secondary last season, starting eight games as a true freshman opposite Damian Swann. He led the team with two interceptions on the year.
Former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was hired away by Louisville this offseason and will now reunite with Wiggins, his former player. Earlier this offseason, former Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons—another starter from 2013—was dismissed from the team and landed with Grantham in Louisville as well.
According to Steve Jones of The Courier-Journal, both players will have to sit out the 2014 season, per NCAA transfer rules, but will have three years of eligibility remaining when they debut in 2015:
Shaq Wiggins and JaQuay Williams will have to sit out 2014 but have three years left. Former 4-star recruits at positions of need in '15.— Steve Jones (@SteveJones_CJ) May 22, 2014
Even if this doesn't fix the immediate holes on Louisville's roster, it sets the program up nicely for the future.
New head coach Bobby Petrino, who just returned for his second stint at Louisville, proved he could win in the SEC when he was at Arkansas. Grantham proved the same under Mark Richt at Georgia. Those bona fides have clearly had an effect on former SEC players, and it should continue to help the Cardinals attract talent these next few years.
Louisville transitions into the ACC this season, which is a big step up from the American and was already great news for its ability to recruit the Southeast. Adding Petrino and Grantham has only helped.
With so much momentum on their side, landing Wiggins and Williams could prove a huge move both on and off the field for the Cardinals.