Receiver Diggs digs Florida
Published: Monday, July 25, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 11:31 p.m.
Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs and the Gator coaching staff had similar goals heading into Florida's annual Friday Night Lights camp. They both wanted to stand out to the other. Diggs did just that as soon as he took the field in yellow compression shorts and neon-purple and orange cleats, purchased just for Friday Night Lights.
“It's Florida, have to be a little bit obnoxious,” he joked.
Once drills got going, the 6-foot 185-pound Diggs rose from standout to can't-miss, making some of the nation's top defensive back prospects look average and making acrobatic catches look routine. It's safe to say Florida also achieved its goal.
“This was one of my best visits,” Diggs said. “It's up there with my Auburn visit. The Swamp is a great place to be.”
Not only was Diggs impressed by “The Swamp,” he is also interested in the direction the Gator program is heading under the new coaching staff.
“It's a good time,” he said. “I feel they're getting back in the tune of things.”
Coach Will Flaherty, from Diggs' high school Our Lady of Good Counsel, accompanied Diggs on his trip to Gainesville, noting a common trait among some of the schools that have Diggs attention.
“Of the schools he's looking at, a good number have first-year coaches,” Flaherty said. “You definitely want to see what the new coaching staff looks like before you commit.”
Diggs is waiting until early next month to sit down and put together a top twelve list and when he does, his trip to Gainesville will play a factor.
“I didn't come down here for no reason. I had a feeling about Florida,” he said. “When I got down here, I didn't really know what to expect. I just knew it was going to be somewhat live and a good atmosphere. That's what I love. “
According to Diggs, when he sits down to make his list, Florida will be on it. The Gators will likely also be one of his five official visits.
“I would like to come to the Florida-Florida State game,” Diggs said. “It's after my season, and I think that will work perfectly. “
His mom's input and comfort level is an important factor in Diggs' decision, so she will most likely accompany him on his trip back to Florida. Something that could help with that comfort level is current Gator linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
“He was at my school. So it goes to show you people are going to be taken care of,” Diggs explained.
As of Friday, Diggs and Jenkins had not yet spoken about the idea of Diggs joining his former teammate in Gainesville, but it's a resource he plans on using.
“I'm going to talk to him personally about how it is your first year and that kind of thing and how things are going to go, personally.“
One topic Diggs and Jenkins will likely discuss is how far Florida is from home, a topic Flaherty and Diggs have been over.
“I don't think there's a definite answer to this kid should stay home or this kid should go,” Flaherty said. “Once you get outside of a five-hour drive, it's really all the same.”
Diggs is the top prospect in the state of Maryland, eighth in the nation. He has interest in Maryland, Miami, Auburn and South Carolina, among others.