STATESBORO — The death of Georgia Southern freshman football player Jordan Wiggins was caused by an intentional overdose, according to the Bulloch County Coroner.
“An official cause of death will be determined by the (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) in Pooler where the autopsy was performed,” Jake A. Futch told the Savannah Morning News on Tuesday, Oct. 22. “But all the evidence points to suicide. He intended to do it based off of texts he sent to family and friends before.”
Futch added that GBI autopsy reports can “sometimes take anywhere from three months, to six months” and also identified the ingested substance as Benadryl, an over-the-counter antihistamine commonly used to treat allergy symptoms.
“On October 21, 2019, at approximately 6 p.m., Jordan Wiggins, age 18, was found unresponsive in his dormitory room located on Chandler Road, Statesboro, Georgia,” said a GBI statement issued Tuesday.
He was transported to East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro where he was pronounced dead. At this point in the investigation, no foul play is suspected, according to the GBI release.
Georgia Southern issued statements Monday night and again Tuesday afternoon.
“The Georgia Southern Athletics Department has received a report of the death of student-athlete Jordan Wiggins,” Georgia Southern said in an emailed statement Monday. “Our thoughts are with the student’s family, friends and classmates.”
A family member of Wiggins called campus police to request a welfare check on Monday evening, according to the school’s statement Tuesday.
The request by family came in response to the texts sent by Wiggins and referred to by Futch. His death is under investigation by the GBI and Georgia Southern police.
“We are devastated to learn of Jordan’s passing,” GS director of athletics Tom Kleinlein said Tuesday. “Although he has only been on campus for a few months, Jordan has left an indelible mark on our program. He was a great person, a great teammate and a great friend to the entire Georgia Southern community. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt thoughts go out to the Wiggins family, and all those who knew and loved Jordan.”
Team practice was canceled on Tuesday and counselors were made available to the players.
“My heart is broken for Jordan, his family, our team and this university,” head coach Chad Lunsford said Tuesday. “Jordan was a great Georgia Southern Man with a bright future. His time on Earth was short, but we know that there is a greater plan, and we must trust that. If he was indeed struggling with some personal issues, I wish the resources that we currently provide our students could have helped more. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone this is affecting.”
An offensive lineman from Tallahassee, Florida and Godby High School, Wiggins had yet to appear in a game for the Eagles.
Wiggins was an electrical engineering major and a member of the 2019 early recruiting class for GS, and he signed in December as the No. 304-rated player in the state of Florida, according to 247Sports.com.
Wiggins wore jersey No. 78 this season.
If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting himself or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by certified crisis response professionals.