It has been almost two years since Jovani Wiggs played in a high school football game, but he certainly hasn’t been forgotten.
Last week, Sacred Heart University reached out and invited the rising senior from Shaker High School to join its football program.
“I got a phone call from one of their assistants, and he invited me down,” Wiggs said Thursday evening. “That was pretty cool.”
Wiggs hasn’t played competitive football since the fourth week of the 2018 season, when he ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown against Shenendehowa before sustaining a severe leg injury while being tackled. He opted not to play football his junior year while focusing on baseball, but is considering a return to the sport that made his name so well-known throughout Section II and beyond.
Before the game in which Wiggs broke both the fibula and tibia in his right leg, Wiggs had turned in a bunch of highlight-reel runs and piled up eight touchdowns while helping Shaker win a trio of games. Despite his limited playing time as a sophomore, he was named a second-team Section II Class AA all-star.
“I think so,” the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Wiggs said of a possible football return this upcoming school year. “Schools are waiting for senior film. It depends on baseball.”
Wiggs excels in that sport, too, and that’s the avenue the 17-year-old South Troy Dodger said he would prefer to take. Playing both sports in college has also crossed his mind.
“I’m keeping everything open,” Wiggs said. “I’m taking it slow.”
Wiggs last played high school baseball as a freshman with Shaker’s JV. He wasn’t yet medically cleared to play baseball as a sophomore, and his junior campaign last spring got wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet a series of successful showcase events has placed the speedy outfielder on collegiate radar screens.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of big-time schools,” said Wiggs, who mentioned Miami, North Carolina and Duke. “I’m waiting to see what happens.”
Wiggs last saw scholastic competition during the winter as a member of Shaker’s indoor track and field team. Though he had never run in that environment before, he placed fourth in the 55-meter dash at the Section II Division I championships and was fifth at the state meet qualifier.
“Everything is fine,” Wiggs said. “I feel good.”