COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Randy Edsall of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates after the Terrapins intercepted a Clemson Tigers pass during the first half at Byrd Stadium on October 15, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Four schools remain in the running for the services of elite receiver recruit Stefon Diggs. Will he stay in state and head to Maryland, or will he venture elsewhere?
Stefon Diggs, a top receiver recruit, is set to announce his college decision this Friday night. Diggs will make his announcement live on Comcast Sportsnet at either 6 or 10 p.m. EST. Diggs stars for Olney (Md.) Our Lady Of Good Counsel. He's universally regarded as one of the best receivers in the country, rated five-stars by most major recruiting services, and was a U.S. Army All-American.
Diggs is considering Florida, Maryland, Ohio State and Auburn. And each school has a legitimate reason to believe Diggs will choose them.
Maryland is the hometown school, and Testudo Times thinks that Diggs electing to decide on the local station as opposed to ESPN could be a hint that he is choosing the Terps. This line of thinking, of course, assumes that Diggs had the option to decide on ESPN, which isn't known.
The Terps should be fresh in Diggs' mind, as he visited Maryland over the weekend. The Terrapin students passed out flyers of Diggs and chanted his name during the basketball game vs. North Carolina. Interestingly, Diggs was hosted by quarterback Danny O'Brien, who is the subject of ongoing transfer rumors. Would Maryland have arranged for Diggs to be hosted by O'Brien if the quarterback planned on transferring? Probably not, assuming Maryland knew of O'Brien's alleged plans. This situation at Maryland could have an impact on Diggs' decision and is definitely worth watching. He'd likely start for the Terps, as Maryland does not have anyone with the athleticism and explosiveness of Diggs.
Why might Diggs not pick the Terrapins? Maryland did lose 10 games last season and many believe the program is in shambles. The Terrapins also play in the ACC, which is a far lesser conference than Florida's and Auburn's SEC.
Definitely don't rule out the Florida Gators. Scout recruiting reporter and Florida alumnus Laura McKeeman believes Diggs will head to Gainesville:
Florida offers Diggs the chance to play in the SEC, but at a decidedly less rural venue than his other SEC option, Auburn. And the Gators are also in desperate need of a playmaker. In fact, some Florida experts are judging this recruiting class on a Diggs or no Diggs basis. Many consider Florida to be the favorite here, and Diggs would see immediate playing time for the Gators.
Why might Diggs not want to play at UF? Distance. Gainesville is a long ways from Maryland.
Another option is Ohio State. ESPN recruiting analyst Jared Shanker tweeted that the Buckeyes feel good about their position with Diggs:
Diggs has been sold by Meyer on playing the "Percy" position, the hybrid running back/receiver spot manned by Percy Harvin at Florida. Diggs could see immediate playing time at Ohio State as well, and Meyer is the most proven head coach of his four finalists.
Why might Diggs not want to play for Ohio State? The Big Ten isn't exactly the SEC, and Ohio State is serving a one-year bowl ban. And according to Dan Hellie, Diggs is concerned about the number of players signed by Ohio State:
Hellie has not expounded on this tweet, but if true, Diggs' fears could be the result of some negative recruiting related to the oversigning zealots and the criticism of Urban Meyer's recruiting practices. Ohio State insiders have been clear that the Buckeyes have one spot remaining, and that the spot is reserved for Diggs.
Auburn is not technically out of this race, either. The Tigers have a staff of incredible recruiters and frequently pull recruits long after they've been counted out. If Diggs wants more of the quiet atmosphere of a small town, while still playing in the SEC, Auburn would be a good spot. Like at his other three choices, Diggs would play immediately at Auburn. And like Florida, the Tigers will run a pro-style offense after the departure of Gus Malzahn.
Why wouldn't Diggs choose Auburn? For someone used to a bigger, northern city, Auburn might be a bit of a culture shock. And Diggs' official visit to Auburn was before Auburn hired its new coordinator. He hasn't had much time to develop a relationship with the new offensive coaching staff on the plains.
My best guess? Mike Locksley has been a force recruiting the D.C. area for more than a decade. I think he's convinced Diggs to stay home and turn around this Maryland program.