How two Louisiana 4-star football recruits battled it out in LHSAA playoff showdown

Chris Singleton
The Courier

Quency Wiggins and Shazz Preston stood on opposite sidelines during a Class 3A second-round playoff game at Memorial Stadium in Baton Rouge on Thursday.

The two Class of 2022 four-star uncommitted college prospects battled it out for four quarters, but it was Wiggins and his Madison Prep teammates who celebrated a 33-10 win over Preston and St. James.

Wiggins, a defensive lineman who finished with two sacks, said Madison Prep respected the playmaking ability of Preston, who finished with seven catches for 80 yards and played many snaps as a defensive back.

“After the game, he patted me on the back and told me to finish it out for him,” said Wiggins, who helped lead Madison Prep to a Class 3A state title in 2020. “He’s a good hearted dude and I think he’s going to go very far in his career. He has very good upside and I think he’s a darn good player for sure. I tried to tackle him on one play but he slipped away like butter.”

St. James receiver Shazz Preston (7) jumps over a defender during a Class 3A playoff game against Madison Prep in Baton Rouge.

Preston and Wiggins spent time playing travel football for the Louisiana Bootleggers in recent years.

“As we grew up, he came to be like a friend to me,” said Preston, who helped St. James win the Class 3A state title in 2019. “It was good to see how Quency played and impacted the game.”

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Both players will make important decisions regarding their college futures as the early National Signing Day in December gets closer. There is a chance they could play college football together. They spent time with each other while taking an unofficial visit to see Alabama play LSU in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Nov. 6.

Madison Prep defensive lineman Quency Wiggins (2) competes against St. James during a Class 3A playoff game in Baton Rouge.

“We talked for awhile," Wiggins said. "We are going to keep in contact for sure. We’re going to see what’s the best move for us.”

“It was fun. It was a great game,” Preston said. “I really enjoyed going out there. I had fun talking to all the players and coaches.”

The 6-foot-6, 274-pound Wiggins is ranked as the seventh best player in the state according to 247Sports Composite rankings. He is the 17th best defensive lineman in the nation. He has released a final top 3 list that included LSU, Alabama and Florida.

“I feel like those three schools will best develop me and turn me into the best player I could possibly be,” Wiggins said. “I think the future is bright for all three of these schools. I just want to see which one I will be best at.”

The 6-foot, 190-pound Preston has a top four list that includes Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Texas. He is ranked as the No. 57 prospect in the country according to 247Sports Composite. He is the No. 4 prospect in Louisiana and one of three among the top five recruits that has yet to commit.

Preston said it will take some to get over the end of his high school career but he is excited about his future.

“It’s a tough loss, but you’ve got to live with the results,” Preston said. “We just have to learn from this and use it as motivation.”

Shawn Preston Sr., who is Shazz’s father, said the star player will take time off to recover from the loss before jumping back into his college recruitment. 

“It’s bittersweet because you would’ve wanted him to have a longer ride, but the reality came for him," Preston Sr. said. "The game itself is disappointing but I’m proud and happy of the body of work he was able to put in at St. James. It’s been a good ride. It’s on to the next chapter. We’ve got some decisions to make. We have to have some conversations. I’m going to let him get away for a couple of days.”

Reach Chris Singleton at 985-857-2213 or chris.singleton@houmatoday.com and on Twitter @courierchris.