The evolution of recruiting chronicles the recruiting journeys of USSSA Pride players. Each player narrates their own story and how they ultimately made the decision on where to play college softball. Watch how recruiting has changed through the years from the stories of each player. The evolution of recruiting begins in the 1990s and ends with the recent processes of our Pride rookies.
The next recruiting story is from Megan Wiggins who left the University of Georgia as one of the greatest players in Bulldog history. Despite official visits to two other SEC schools, the NFCA All American chose to stay in her home state and play for the Bulldogs. Wiggins helped Georgia get back to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) while becoming one of the most feared hitters in the country.
“I committed to UGA because at the end of the day, that’s where my heart was and that’s where I wanted to create my future. I wanted to be challenged and I wanted to be the best.”
Athlete: Megan WigginsAlma Mater: Georgia, 2011
Year you committed: I believe I committed my senior year.
How old were you when you committed: I was 18 years old
How many official visits did you take? 3
How many unofficial visits did you take? None
Did you make a recruiting video? no
How old were you when you first learned/thought about playing getting a scholarship to play in college?
MW: I think when I was probably in high school. I had never been to a college softball game until all the recruiting stuff started going on. I always played softball since I was 4, but I always wanted to play for the USA team, so as far as I was concerned there was no college softball. But as we started getting older and I started realizing the opportunities that were ahead of me I then wanted to be a collegiate softball player.
When did you first start getting serious about the recruiting process? Explain the steps you took (videos/emailing coaches/camps/tournaments/showcases/visits).
MW: Well my travel softball team, the Georgia Titans, we were good, and we went to all the big tournaments and nationals every year. Like Colorado, a big showcase in South Carolina, really that’s all I can remember, plus nationals, and a lot of interest was shown for the girls on our team and for myself. So the whole process was me playing softball and these schools and coaches seeing that. I think I went to one like individual combine/showcase probably my junior or senior year in Georgia, but that’s it. I never sent a video. I’m sure I emailed coaches back and being polite for the interest in me and so on, but never to promote myself or where our travel team was playing. I went on three official visits, one was to Mississippi State where two of my travel team teammates went, one to Auburn, and my last one was to University of Georgia. I went to the school and toured the softball fields and met the girls and went to the football games. I also had meetings with the coaches, but UGA was the only team that I had an in-home visit with. At the time in this process its all so surreal and you are just a wide-eyed kid who loves playing softball and has no idea what is in store.
Describe how you committed to your school.
MW: Well after I went on my visits, and I probably knew far before that, I just wanted to make them sweat. But the very moment I knew where I wanted to go was when I was at a UGA football game, and they were playing the pre-game hype video. They had the music going and old clips from football games years ago, like seeing Hershal Walker run through a Tennessee defender and then the best part of all was the trumpet solo right before the end, where the soloist plays part of the fight song until the whole stadium joins in and cheers for the DAWGS as they come out. At that moment I knew, because I had goosebumps and a lump in my throat, I knew that my heart was here and my future was waiting to be made here. I wanted to wait to the last minute to make it as suspenseful as I could lol, but also to make sure UGA is where I really wanted to go. And it was, I knew every inch of me wanted to go there, and from that moment I signed that paper at my high school in front of my peers, family, and teammates, I never looked back.
Why did you commit to this school and why at that time?
MW: I committed to UGA because at the end of the day, that’s where my heart was and that’s where I wanted to create my future. I wanted to be challenged and I wanted to be the best. Despite anything and everything I heard about the school I knew it is where I wanted to be and I knew I was meant to be there. At the time I also knew that whoever was paying for me to come to their school with a full ride would be of my top choices, because my family couldn’t afford to pay anything more than $0 for college. So I knew that everything would work itself out and I would go where I was supposed to go. I knew that all my hard work would pay off and I could go to college for free and could repay my parents for everything they had given me through my whole life and all of it was worth it. I knew that UGA was the place where I needed to be and it felt like a family and it felt right and I had no regrets.
What happened from the time you committed to the time you stepped on campus?
MW: Well I got a whole lot of letters in the mail from UGA, from the school and from the coaches themselves. I went through the process of registering, making sure I finished high school with good grades and making sure all the paperwork was in and then was officially accepted into the school. My last summer I played 23U because there was no point in playing 18u because I had already signed and there were some current UGA players on the 23U team and I played with them and spoke with them about everything. It was a good experience getting to know them and getting to know all about the team and coaches from some of the players.
Looking back on your recruiting story, what stands out the most?
MW: The one thing I remember the most about specifically being recruited by UGA was that they sent me a letter one day, it was comparing me and David Pollack, a UGA football player that was from my hometown and high school. They showed what he had done and his accomplishments and put my name in there substituting his and created a story of me being a great UGA softball player and what I could accomplish there and who I could be and who I could become. I knew from them doing that they cared and they cared enough to think of me as being special and someone they really wanted to go to their school. That was something special to me and I will always remember that. It was the coolest thing about any of the letters I ever received. It was so personal and so realistic and really made me want to be apart of UGA.
What’s your advice to athletes now on the recruiting process?
MW: My advice for athletes now would have to be work hard, harder than anyone else and become the best athlete you can be. Enjoy the journey and the process. Don’t force it, don’t become great on paper, but be great on the field. Be a great teammate and person. Be the best athlete you can be. Work hard and have a dream, and do anything and everything to achieve that dream. Don’t be afraid to stand out, don’t be afraid of failure. Enjoy it, enjoy getting better, enjoy learning, enjoy the process and things will happen the way they were meant to.