Remembering Jordan Wiggins

Kaitlin Sells

This article was updated Oct. 22 at 4:07 p.m.

STATESBORO — Georgia Southern football player Jordan Wiggins was found unresponsive by Georgia Southern police in his resident hall in Statesboro Monday night. 

A family member called GSPD to request a welfare check on Wiggins, and upon arrival they found Wiggins unresponsive. They transported the freshman to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he later passed away.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to conduct an investigation looking into Wiggins’ death, and was later ruled a suicide by overdose. 

“We are devastated to learn of Jordan’s passing,” Tom Kleinlein, director of athletics at GS, said in a press release. “Although he has only been on campus for a few months, Jordan has left an indelible mark on our program. He was a great person, a great teammate and a great friend to the entire Georgia Southern community. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt thoughts go out to the Wiggins family, and all those who knew and loved Jordan.”

{{tncms-inline account=”#GATALifestyle” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wiggins family. You will forever be a Georgia Southern Eagle! RIP Jordan Wiggins💙🦅 <a href="https://t.co/JjiqwWN1xT">pic.twitter.com/JjiqwWN1xT</a></p>— #GATALifestyle (@GATALifestyle) <a href="https://twitter.com/GATALifestyle/status/1186681663989964806?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 22, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/GATALifestyle/status/1186681663989964806″ type=”twitter”}}

The Florida native signed with GS in December of 2018 as part of the recruiting class of 2019 and was a scheduled redshirt this season. 

The offensive lineman played at Godby High School in Tallahassee, where was was named Capital outlook’s Youth of the Year for his work on and off the field.

“He never wanted to do anything if it didn’t make someone else happy,” Coach Brandon McCray, Wiggins’ o-line coach for two years, said in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat. “He was always there for his friends. He would do anything for his linemen. He loved football, but even he did that because it made his friends happy.”

Wiggins was also a first-team All-Big Bend offensive lineman for his high school his senior year, he notched 73 pancake blocks and only allowed two sacks the entire season.

Wiggins’ mother passed in 2017, and McCray’s mother took Wiggins in.

“That was like my adopted son,” McCray said. “I coached with him for two years and against all his brothers for years. I’m still in shock. I don’t know what to think. I’ve still got a lot of his stuff here at my house. I’m just trying to be here for my mom and all our players.”

Tuesday’s planned practice was cancelled to give the team time to grieve.

{{tncms-inline account=”D1″ html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Heart heavy</p>— D1 (@the__Duno) <a href="https://twitter.com/the__Duno/status/1186456160142024709?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 22, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/the__Duno/status/1186456160142024709″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Coach Atkins” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Prayers to <a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgiaSouthern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GeorgiaSouthern</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/GATALifestyle?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GATALifestyle</a> Sadden by the News of Jordan Wiggins.. sad sad sad.. Prayers to his family and the entire EAGLE NATION!</p>— Coach Atkins (@CoachAAtkins) <a href="https://twitter.com/CoachAAtkins/status/1186491467050696705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 22, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/CoachAAtkins/status/1186491467050696705″ type=”twitter”}}

“My heart is broken for Jordan, his family, our team and this university,” Head Coach Chad Lunsford said in a press release. “Jordan was a great Georgia Southern Man with a bright future. His time on Earth was short, but we know that there is a greater plan, and we must trust that.”

Wiggins was 18 years-old, and he was majoring in electrical engineering at GS.

Counseling support and other resources are available to all Georgia Southern University students, student-athletes, faculty and staff. Screening Hours at the Counseling Centers on the Statesboro campus and Armstrong campus are 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. The Counseling Center may be reached at 912-478-5541 on the Statesboro campus or 912-344-2529 for the Armstrong and Liberty campuses. After Counseling Center hours, or at any time if you feel someone you know may be considering suicide, contact University Police at 912-478-5234. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The National Crisis Textline is text “HOME” to 741741.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, [email protected]