Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast four-star safety Jordan Diggs took an official visit to Vanderbilt this past weekend.
"It was great," Diggs said. "I enjoyed every bit of it from when I got off the plane to when I left. It was awesome."
The 6-foot, 191-pound defensive back had previously been on campus for a camp visit over the summer. He said his time on campus this weekend was a bit different due to a big game being the marquee event.
"The gameday atmosphere is definitely different in some ways because Vanderbilt isn't the biggest stadium or the most fans, but the fans that are there are die-hard," Diggs said. "It is a family atmosphere as everyone really cares about the team. You can tell they believe in what Coach (James) Franklin is doing. That is what I took from the gameday atmosphere."
Diggs was hosted on his visit by former Island Coast player and current Vanderbilt freshman defensive end Jimmy Stewart. Diggs spoke in-depth with Stewart about what it is like to be a student-athlete at the SEC school.
"I definitely asked him a lot of questions about academics since Vanderbilt is a great academic school," Diggs said. "I asked about the classroom setting and the academic programs. He said it is fine and that he is maintaining well right now. He said everything is great in that regard. Just knowing that he can do it makes me feel I can do it."
The Sunshine State prospect spoke a great deal with the coaching staff, but at no point felt like they were trying to tell him something new with regards to where he fits into their plans.
"There was no pitch," Diggs said. "I have been conversating with Coach Franklin throughout the whole process as well as Coach Wesley McGriff, my main recruiter, throughout the process. I also talk to Coach Bob Shoop, the defensive coordinator, at least once every couple weeks. So I knew what the deal was when I got there. They didn't have to sell anything. I already knew the cards were on the table. I know they have a spot for me and that they have a plan for success for Jordan Diggs. They are looking at me to come in and make an immediate contribution. They believe I can help push them over the edge because they are so close to winning a lot of games."
For Diggs, he said the visit was about learning about other things surrounding the Nashville-based program.
"I went to take in the atmosphere and see how much people really believe in what Coach Franklin is doing," Diggs said. "I also wanted to hang out with the guys and get a feeling from them. I also wanted to talk with the coaches and see their plan of success for me. I saw a lot of passion and a lot of intensity from all of them as they are planning to make a turnaround there."
He compared the visit to his first official visit, which was to Nebraska a week earlier.
"Vanderbilt was a totally different feel. They are both unique in their own way," Diggs said. "Nebraska is a Big Ten school with a lot of tradition. They have a bigger stadium and Nebraska fans are crazy in their own way. Commodore fans are different in their own way, but they are die-hard fans as well. Both programs impressed me, I was very impressed, but I got more of a personal family feel at Vanderbilt because there are so many Florida guys on the team. I still felt they cared about me at Nebraska, but it was just a bit different."
He isn't done with officials just yet.
"My next visit will either be Tennessee or South Carolina," Diggs said. "I might go to Tennessee on the 5th (of November). Right now it is pretty much set up that I will be there on Nov. 5th."
The following weekend Diggs will travel to South Carolina for their game on November 12th. He said a fifth and final official visit is a possibility, and if he takes it, it will be to Michigan State.
That means that at this time his five official visit destinations are Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, and likely Michigan State. Those five programs are standing out at this juncture.
"It is coming down to those five basically," Diggs said. "They have all shown me how I can fit into their scheme and that I can come in and play early. That is important to me, I want to be able to come in and make an impact on a team very early. I want to go to a program that I can grow in. Those schools have definitely shown that they have that available for me."
Making a decision will be based on collecting as much information as he can on each program and getting a feel for how he fits in.
"It just depends on where I feel is best for me," Diggs said. "I am just going to keep asking questions and find out which school is the right one for me."
At this time, Diggs claims no leader. He plans to make his announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, Texas on January 7th.