Jermaine Dias is widely known as the best linebacker in New Jersey and this should come as no surprise to those who know him and his play. Last season, Dias had the statistics to back up such a statement with 86 tackles (23 for a loss), 12 sacks and five forced fumbles.
As one might expect, this Hackensack, N.J. native has quickly become a top target of college coaches. Dias has already received offers from Miami, Michigan, Syracuse, Boston College, Virginia, Pitt, Iowa, Rutgers, NC State, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Duke and many others. So far Dias lists Michigan, Virginia, Boston College and Rutgers as his top choices, but this junior superstar is far from making up his mind.
“I’m looking for a lot of things [in a school]. I want to know that I am going to graduate in four years and play for a great football team while I’m there. I’m just looking for a chance to compete,”
Dias noted that he doesn’t have any strong geographic preferences and is not limiting his search to schools in the northeast region.
Although Dias currently plays defensive end at Hackensack High School, he plans to play outside linebacker in college.
“I’m looking toward any school I can play linebacker at, which is pretty much any of the schools that are looking at me.” He explained.
Dias has the size, speed and strength to be an outstanding outside linebacker in college. Standing 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. Dias can bench press 315 pounds and can squat 465 pounds. Academically, the soft-spoken senior-to-be has a 2.65 GPA and is still waiting on his first round of SAT scores.
Dias has no plans to attend any football camps this summer, instead opting to visit some of his top choices, although no firm dates have been set as of yet. He has yet to decide exactly when he will commit to a school, explaining “I want to make my decision after I take all my visits. I’ll probably take all five official visits so I don’t expect to decide until December or January.
So far Dias has found the coaches who are recruiting him to be quite impressive. He explained that coach McGovern from Boston College, Coach Yonder from Rutgers and Coach Groh from Virginia have been most impressive.
“They’re straight forward guys, they didn’t try to BS me,” he said. “They just told it as it was and I like that. The recruiting process has been fun so far, but that’s because coaches have only been allowed to call once. I’m sure it will start getting tough during my senior year.”
Dias has played football for years, but he also used to play basketball which helped him with his speed and jumping ability as well as stamina. Football is a powerful force in his life, as it is for most recruits.
“Football is basically my future right now…it helps me manage my time and it makes me more responsible.”
Dias is looking forward to his senior year season.
“Our team is looking a lot better this year than last year,” he explained. “Last year was more of a rebuilding year, with a lot of young players. This year, with older and more experienced players we should prove to be a tough to beat in New Jersey.”
Next season, Dias will continue with his ritual of “saying a long prayer” before each game and college recruiters might want to do the same because whoever lands the talented defender will be getting a cornerstone for their defense for years to come.