It was pretty much destined to happen as soon as he strapped on a helmet for the New York Jets way back in 1999 as an undrafted rookie out of Georgia. His chances were only bolstered in 2000 when, in his second year in the NFL, he signed on with his hometown team the New England Patriots. And in 2001, he might as well have started planning the date with his alma mater, East Boston High School, for the ceremony in which the school would retire his jersey.
The date has come for Jermaine Wiggins, the retired NFL tight end who won a Super Bowl with Patriots in 2001. Wiggins will have his jersey retired at Airport Stadium in East Boston tonight when the Jets host Boston English. It will be a long overdue honor for the North Shore resident who continues to opine and analyze football on TV, radio and on the web. He also runs a football program on the North Shore for young football players, Train like a Pro With a Pro. (Editors Note: Wiggins also contributes to a weekly video series on Boston.com called Inside the Playbook.)
You know I didnt really expect it, Wiggins explained. It wasnt something I thought about.
I was a good player in high school, [but] more of a basketball player, Wiggins continued. I didnt set a whole lot of records. Basketball is more of where I laid my hat.
Wiggins old basketball coach, Michael Rubin, now the headmaster at East Boston High School, approached him about being getting his jersey retired.
Hopefully, itll show my kids that with hard work -- and the kids that go to East Boston high school, -- is that anything can be done, Wiggins said. To me, thats the biggest accomplishment. Is, you know, have those kids see that.