Wiggins embraces first Death Valley experience and Tiger fans


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Korrin Wiggins had never attended a Clemson game before Saturday. (TigerNet Staff)
Korrin Wiggins had never attended a Clemson game before Saturday. (TigerNet Staff)

CLEMSON- Clemson fans, you have a fan in freshman defensive back Korrin Wiggins.

But now you have a big reputation to live up to with the 5-11, 190-pounder from Durham (NC) Hillside High School.

Unlike many of Clemson’s recruits, who attend several Clemson home games during their recruitment, Wiggins had never attended a Clemson game before Saturday. That makes him one of the few players who play in the very first game they experience in Death Valley.

And, if you have to pick a first game, last Saturday’s thrilling 38-35 victory over Georgia was a good one, but the atmosphere both before the game during TigerWalk and during the game mean that Clemson fans have a lot to live up to with Wiggins.

“This was actually the first Clemson game that I’ve ever been to, so to be a part of it, I was just honored,” Wiggins said after Wednesday’s practice. “I didn’t expect all of those fans to be at Tiger Walk. I knew it was going to be packed, but it looked like the game itself out in the parking lot. You’ve got to respect and cherish those types of fans that are passionate about the program. We just love that. You’ve got to love waking up every day and going to work for those fans, and just cherish it. You don’t expect it, but you really appreciate it.”

Wiggins said his adrenaline was at its peak just before he ran down the hill for the first time.

“It was just a lot of adrenaline,” he said. “Seeing the guys go down ahead of you, there’s a lot of excitement and you’re thinking, ‘Dog, I’m next and it’s my turn.’ Seeing the seniors go up there and rock with Coach Swinney, it just gets you excited. You sit there and have a moment, but after a while, it’s like, ‘it’s time now.’”

Wiggins had even prepared himself for the dip on the hill.

“When I came on my official visit to the spring game, they kind of gave me the heads up about the hump in the hill,” he said. “I was looking for it when I was going down. I kind of hit a little hop going down being a little cautious. I did a little hop, but next time I get the chance I’m going to jump it.”

Wiggins was rated as one of the top-30 corners in the nation by ESPN.com, but played the nickel-SAM spot as well as safety during fall camp and saw his first action against the Bulldogs. However, he said that once took the field the emotions died down and it just became the game he loves.

He then quickly added that he came to Clemson to play in big games like the one against the Bulldogs.

“When I got my number called, there really weren’t any butterflies or anything. It was time to play,” Wiggins said. “You prepare for this and coming to a school like this you expect to play big time games like this because this is a big time program. You have to come in with the mindset that you’re ready to go. If you can’t do that then this isn’t the place for you. When you make a decision like that, you have to be ready.”

Wiggins – whose high school team was undefeated in conference play his last three years at Hillside – said he will take Saturday’s game film and try to get better.

“I think I did decent, but there’s always room for improvement in any aspect,” he said. “I got a couple of snaps and I made a tackle. Every time you come out of a game, you always look for ways to improve. You don’t want to become complacent. That’s what Coach Swinney and this coaching staff are about. After a game like that, I just try to go in and watch film to find any little thing to get better.
I came in just falling in line and to try and out work anyone and make sure I know what I’m doing. I kind of came in under the wing of the older guys to learn from them. Whenever opportunity comes, I just try to take advantage of it.”

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