Olney (Md.) Good Counsel wide receiver Stefon Diggs narrowed his list down to 15 schools in the summer and was hoping to get down to 10 by Oct. 1. The five-star came close as he is now down to 11 schools including one that didn't make his original cut to 15. Diggs talks about the lucky 11.
"I wanted to get it to 10, but I added a school recently so 11 is close enough," said the 6-foot, 185-pounder who is ranked amongst the top 10 players in the nation. "But my 11 are, in no order, Southern Cal, Auburn, Cal, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Miami, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Florida State."
Diggs talked about why each school has made his list.
"USC wasn't in my top 15 initially because they weren't showing a lot of interest, but they have reached out and said they were having trouble reaching me. Now they're showing a lot of interest. They got into a little trouble with the NCAA but they are on the uprise I think and I like the skill players and the offense they have. I've talked to coach Gilmore on Facebook and he seems cool. I haven't visited there but I might.
"Auburn has always been up there since my visit, I really liked my first trip there. I have a good relationship with Trooper Taylor and they have Zeke Pike for their quarterback of the future and he is a good one. I want to go back for another visit for sure.
"Cal is a place I haven't been to but I would like to visit. I have a good relationship with Tosh Lupoi and he says the coaches talk about me a lot. They compare me to DeSean Jackson and who wouldn't be flattered by that?
"Florida is a place I really want to get back down to see, I really liked my visit down there for Friday Night Lights. I like what they are doing on offense, they got beaten pretty badly by Alabama but they have some young quarterbacks and they like to use their receivers all over the place. I also like The Swamp, I want to see a game there.
"South Carolina is a place I've visited and I think I could get early playing time down there. I like the wide receivers coach a lot and coach Spurrier is an intense guy. My mom was watching a game where he was going crazy and she was a little turned off to that, but I told her that's just his intensity and desire to win. He's a great coach.
"Virginia is a place I am really comfortable at, with the coaches and the head coach himself. I have a few former teammates down there which always helps, it's close to home and they are on the rise. I like the academics there too and they are still high on my list.
"Miami has always been my dream school so win, lose or draw they'll be on my list for awhile. I like what coach Golden is doing down there under tough circumstances and the NCAA stuff is not good but a lot of schools are getting in trouble. That doesn't worry me as much as it used to, because every day another school seems to be getting in trouble. You can't get mad at the players.
"Michigan is my only school up north but weather isn't a factor for me. I like playing in warm weather, but Michigan is on the rise for sure and my ex-teammate and good friend Blake Countess is up there and he likes it a lot. They have good receivers and a good offense.
"Virginia Tech I think I have a good chance to play early, they are losing I think around four receivers plus they had a couple get injured so I think I could step in early. It's close to home and I've been there 2 or 3 times already so I feel comfortable.
"Maryland is my hometown school so I have to put them on my list. I like coach Edsall, they've had some tough losses but I have to keep them in my top choices. After they beat Miami I was really excited about them but then they lost to West Virginia and then had that loss to Temple and they looked like the old Maryland that couldn't win consistently. No offense to Temple, but I felt Maryland should have beaten a team like that. But they are home and that's always a great option.
"Finally, Florida State is a school I haven't visited but I'd like to check it out. They have a couple of good receivers and good young quarterbacks and I like the offense. I'm going based on what I've heard and seen on television so I'd like to check it out myself, but the atmosphere for the Oklahoma game looked amazing. That was one of my favorite games to watch."
When it comes to official visits, Diggs does not have any set in stone.
"I will take all of them after our season I think and I am pretty sure my first one will be to Cal," he said. "I am not sure after that, I have to figure some things out. There are places like USC, Michigan and Florida State that I have never visited so I want to see if I want to take officials there or go back to places like Florida and Auburn again on officials. I will figure it out soon."
Diggs team is off to a 5-0 start despite a brutal schedule. Despite being doubled often or at the very least having a safety over the top all the time, Diggs is happy with his season so far.
"I would like to have more big plays, but I'm doing things to help open up plays for my teammates and I think I'm doing well blocking. I also think I'm playing well on defense, I really love hitting on defense and thought about playing cornerback in college. It's funny, I was really interested in Clemson as a cornerback but they didn't really show that much interest, but I love just playing on either side."
So far this year Diggs has 23 catches for 484 yards and 5 touchdowns and 8 rushes for 65 yards and another score.