Olney (Md.) Good Counsel wide receiver Stefon Diggs is one of the most dynamic football prospects in the country and took a step closer to a goal of his as he accepted his U.S. Army All American Bowl jersey on Monday morning at a presentation at his school. The 6-foot, 185-pounder has been compared to former Cal and current Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson and that's fine with him.
"The comparisons are flattering because he's such a great player on the field," said Diggs. "I obviously see him in the NFL but I remember seeing him in the Army Bowl as well and of course I saw his flip. He just came up short of the end zone but I remember he had a great game and I would like to just have fun like that in the game as well."
Diggs is referring to the infamous somersault done by Jackson in the Bowl back in 2005 as he approached the end zone for a touchdown. He timed his leap poorly; the ball landed just short of the end zone and a memorable moment was created. It's something Diggs does not plan to emulate.
"Everyone thinks of me as a flashy guy and all that and sometimes in the heat of the moment when I'm fired up I may show some flash, but I don't plan on doing that," he said with a laugh. "While I hope to have fun in the game and score a touchdown, I am looking at the Army Bowl and my trip to Texas as a business trip. I am looking forward to seeing how I stack up against the best in the country."
The flash Diggs has shown at camps and 7-on-7s as well as in games is a reason why many felt he would be an Under Armour All-American rather than choose the Army Bowl which is known by many as the "serious" game.
"I actually chose Army because it is the serious game," he said. "Like I said, I plan to have fun in the game, but I am serious about football and I know how much hard work there is to be done down there. It's no-nonsense and I like that. There are great players in both games, but I like the vibe of the Army. I think it's where I can get better and go against the best."
Diggs has been going against the best in the state of Maryland for a long time since he was a key player as a freshman and a superstar by his sophomore year at Good Counsel. And when he ventured out of his comfort zone, like at the Tuscaloosa NIKE Camp between his sophomore and junior years and more recently at Friday Night Lights at the University of Florida, he has dominated.
"I love going to different areas and competing against guys outside of Maryland," he said. "It allows me to get better and test myself against the best from other regions. That's why I'm excited about the Army Bowl. I get to go against some of the best cornerbacks in the country and compare myself to some of the best wide receivers out there."
Since Diggs has been on the camp scene since his sophomore year, he has started a bit of a fashion trend in Maryland amongst prospects with his external mouthpiece, something he has become famous for.
"Yeah, that just kind of happened," he laughed. "I got one when I was younger and I really liked the way it felt and worked for me so I started wearing it in games and at camps. I guess it's not something people wear that often, they usually wear the ones inside your mouth, but I liked it and stuck with it. I have four of them and they are almost like my good luck charms. Then I started a bunch of other players start wearing them and it was cool. I don't have it patented or anything like that, but I have seen it become a little bit of a trend."
Diggs, ranked as the No. 8 overall player in the country and No. 2 at wide receiver, could take his talents out of state as well when it comes to choosing a college.
"I have my list down to 11 and I expect to narrow it down to about six schools in a few weeks," he said. "Right now I don't have any favorites and of course I'm looking at Maryland, but getting out of state is something I have been looking at for quite some time. But I really won't know much until I start taking my official visits and I won't take any of those until after my season I guess. I want to take all five and make my decision on Signing Day. Right now I don't have any scheduled."
In the meantime, Diggs is now a step closer to San Antonio and is excited about getting the recruiting process narrowed down and playing in the best game in front of millions on NBC come Jan. 7. He has also led his team to an 8-0 record so far this season including huge wins over Manatee, Fla. and Baltimore (Md.) Gilman, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha and Bear (Del.) Red Lion Christian.
"Time goes by so fast," he said. "It's starting to get into a time crunch for everything so I need to start figuring some things out. But for me our season and my team comes first and I'm happy with our record and how well we are playing. I want a state title and then a win for the East in the Army Bowl and I'll be happy.