UC’s Gardner and Wiggins Second Team All-American honors from AP

Ahmad Gardner UC FTB in game against SMU (courtesy UC Sports Communications)
James Wiggins running back an interception (Courtesy UC Sports Communications)

CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner (Detroit, Michigan/Martin Luther King) and safety James Wiggins (Miami, Florida/South Dade) were both named Associated Press Second-Team All-Americans Monday.

Last week, Gardner earned First-Team All-America accolades from USA Today and second-team honors from The Athletic while Wiggins was tabbed for first-team recognition by The Athletic.

Both were selected as First-Team All-American Athletic Conference honorees. They are key parts of a UC defense which ranks in the NCAA’s Top-15 in five categories, including No. 2 in both interceptions (15) and team passing efficiency defense and rank tied for No. 7 in scoring defense (16.0) and No. 10 in total defense (314.4). 

The Bearcats have forced a turnover in 19-straight games, the longest active streak in the NCAA FBS, totaling AAC highs with 53 passes defended and 15 interceptions.

Gardner is tied for second in the AAC’s with nine passes defended and tied for fourth with three interceptions. In nine starts this season, he added 28 tackles and shared a sack. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Gardner has allowed the third-lowest passer rating in the FBS in coverage in 2020, making more plays on the ball than first downs allowed.

Individually, Wiggins started nine games at safety, recording 32 tackles, seven passes defended, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble. He is a a semifinalist for the 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award. He has accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and was named to Bruce Feldman’s College Football Freaks list for the third straight year. According to Sports Info Solutions, Wiggins, has given up only 11 catches for 84 yards on 32. That average of 2.63 yards per target ranks second nationally.

UC (9-0) won American Athletic Conference Championship, their first outright league crown since 2009. Cincinnati was No. 8 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and will play in its first New Year’s Six game since the 2009 season when the Bearcats battle No. 9 Georgia at Mercedes Benz Stadium in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled at noon ET and the game will air on ESPN and 700 WLW AM. 

ONE TEAM ONE TEST
Your gift to the Next Level Success Fund will have a direct impact on the Bearcats football team as they prepare to take on Georgia in the 2020 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. As they have all season, members of the team and coaching staff will continue to be COVID tested leading up to the game. Your contribution will help us ensure that the team can safely practice and take the field on New Year’s Day.

To make a gift, or learn more, please visit https://impact.uc.edu/project/21337.

2021 SEASON TICKET DEPOSITS
The Athletics Ticket Office is now accepting deposits for 2021 football season tickets. Any fan who was not a season ticket holder in 2019, placed a deposit for season tickets ahead of the 2020 season, should make a deposit online and reserve their spot in Nippert Stadium for the 2021 campaign!

New season ticket holders who make a deposit will have access to season ticket locations ahead of the general public during the spring 2021 selection window. Deposits are only needed for fans who did not have season tickets in 2019.

FOLLOW THE BEARCATS
For all the latest information on Cincinnati football, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati football (@GoBearcatsFB) and Coach Fickell (@CoachFick) on Twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Instagram and Facebook.

COURTESY UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

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