In 2015, Kenny Wiggins proved to be one of the biggest surprises as he became one of the most valuable performers on the Chargers’ offensive line.
Wiggins came to the NFL in 2011 and he spent his first two seasons on the practice squad — 2011 in Baltimore and 2012 in San Francisco. In 2013, he spent nine weeks on the Chargers’ practice squad and the remainder of the season on the active roster, but the former Fresno State Bulldog never made it into a game. With his practice squad time used up, Wiggins was waived in 2014 and spent most of the year out of football. When injuries depleted the Bolts’ offensive line late in 2014, the Chargers brought Wiggins back and signed him to the active roster for their season finale in Kansas City. Doing so also opened the door for Wiggins to try and earn a roster spot again in 2015.
Wiggins was waived at the end of the 2015 training camp. At the time, his football future appeared bleak. As fate would have it, the injury bug struck the Chargers once again and 10 days after being waived, the Chargers re-signed Wiggins. Five days later he saw action in a game on special teams and 12 days later in Minnesota, Wiggins saw his first regular-season game action on the offensive line.
Wiggins ended up playing in the Chargers’ final 15 games of 2015 and he started eight. He started games at left and right guard, while also seeing action at right tackle. Wiggins ended up playing a total of 401 snaps in 2015, fifth among the team’s offensive linemen. It was impressive stuff for a player who months earlier thought his football career might very well have come to an end. And at the end of the year, when the NFL awarded performance-based pay bonuses for players who outplayed their adjusted regular-season salaries, Wiggins was the Chargers’ top earner and ranked 21st league-wide.
Off the field, Wiggins is an aspiring businessman who collaborated with one of his best friends from childhood, Andrew Gardner, to launch the Gafton clothing line. The name was taken from the street the two grew up on in Elk Grove, California, a suburb of Sacramento. Gafton currently offers clothing for both men and women with a wide range of styles. The brand has already taken off both in the United States and abroad.
Wiggins and his wife, Jennifer, enjoyed a dream vacation to Bora Bora in March. Jennifer is a former member of the dance team at Fresno State. The couple wed in April 2014 in Saratoga, Calif.
Aside from his clothing line, Wiggins also has aspirations of a post-football career in broadcasting. A former communications major at Fresno State, Wiggins is a frequent guest on the “Rush Hour” show on ESPN Radio’s affiliate in Fresno.
Wiggins enjoys playing basketball and fishing when he’s not playing football or training with the Chargers. Before he became an all-league hoopster at Elk Grove (Calif.) High School, Wiggins played on an AAU team in 2004 that was coached by rapper and entertainer Master P. The team played games around the country and featured Master P’s son, rapper and actor, Lil Romeo, as well as DeMar DeRozan, a shooting guard for the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. Had Wiggins not opted for a career in football, he received several overtures to play Division I college basketball. Wiggins’ brother, Josh, played baseball at Mt. Mercy University, a NAIA school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Signed with San Francisco, July 27, 2011...waived Sept. 3...signed to Baltimore’s practice squad Nov. 28...contract expired, Jan. 30, 2012...re-signed with San Francisco, Feb. 6...waived Aug. 31...signed to 49ers’ practice squad, Sept. 2...re-signed with 49ers, Feb. 6, 2013...waived Aug. 31...signed to Chargers’ practice squad Sept. 2...signed to active roster, Nov. 16...waived Nov. 18...re-signed to Chargers’ practice squad Nov. 20...re-signed to active roster Nov. 23...waived Aug. 30, 2014...re-signed Dec. 22...waived Sept. 5, 2015...re-signed Sept. 15, 2015 and March 9, 2016.
2015: First career regular-season action on offensive line Sept. 27 at Minnesota...took over at left guard for Chris Hairston and later saw action at right tackle when injuries forced Joe Barksdale to shift from right to left tackle...first career start at left guard for injured Orlando Franklin in 30-27 win over Cleveland Oct. 4...Bolts passed for 358 yards and three touchdowns vs. Browns, while line surrendered just two sacks...team won game on 34-yard field goal with no time left on clock...Oct. 12 vs. Pittsburgh on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, started at left guard...in second quarter, shifted to right tackle when left tackle Hairston was injured and Barksdale went from right tackle to left tackle...on last play of third quarter, played one snap at right guard when D.J. Fluker came out for play, before returning to right tackle for remainder of game...played entire game at left guard Oct. 18 at Green Bay as Philip Rivers set franchise records for attempts, completions and yards...saw brief action at right guard Oct. 25 vs. Oakland and in fourth quarter, took over at left guard for injured Franklin...saw action at both left guard and right tackle as injuries forced multiple re-shufflings of offensive line Nov. 1 at Baltimore...Nov. 22 vs. Kansas City, took over at right tackle late in third quarter for injured Barksdale...Nov. 29 at Jacksonville, started at left guard in place of Fluker and played all 71 snaps as line allowed just two sacks in 45 total dropbacks while Rivers passed for 300 yards and four TDs...entered Miami game Dec. 20 very briefly at right tackle for Barksdale, who was injured but returned...took over at right tackle in second half Dec. 24 in Oakland as injury to Hairston forced Barksdale to shift from right tackle to left tackle...in OT, moved to left guard after team lost center Trevor Robinson and J.D. Walton went from left guard to center...starting left guard Jan. 3 at Denver for Franklin...in fourth quarter vs. Broncos, shifted to right tackle for injured Barksdale.
2014: NFL debut on special teams Dec. 28 at Kansas City.
2013: Spent Weeks 1-9 on Chargers’ practice squad...elevated to active roster for final nine weeks, including playoffs, but did not appear in any games.
2012: Spent entire season on San Francisco’s practice squad.
2011: Signed to Baltimore’s practice squad Nov. 28 and remained there for balance of season.
COLLEGE: First-team All-Western Athletic Conference as senior in 2010...second-team All-WAC as junior...helped block for 1,808-yard, 19-touchdown season by Ryan Mathews in 2009...played in 42 career games...redshirted in 2006...played at Fresno State from 2007-10...communications major.
PERSONAL: Born in Elk Grove, Calif....first-team All-Delta League in football and basketball at Elk Grove High School.