Diamond Pleasantly Surprised With Illini

The Fighting Illini are always searching for top offensive line talent. In the past, Chicago brought senior offensive tackle Jeff Allen to the Illini. Now, Illinois is back in Chicago in pursuit of one of the top offensive tackles in the country. Jordan Diamond watched the Illini defeat Arizona State Saturday and had a great time.

Jordan Diamond, one of the top ten offensive tackles in the country for the class of 2012 has been to Illinois numerous times before. However, this Saturday was the 6'-6" 310 pound tackle's first chance to experience game day.

"Right now I'm loving it. I'm loving the game atmosphere. I'm loving the fight in the University of Illinois. Right now Illinois just gave me something to think about."

Arizona State was a tough test for the Illini, so for Diamond to see the Illini emerge victorious made the visit that much better.

"The game atmosphere was great. Seeing Illinois play another school from across the country, it's good to see that they can compete with anybody in the nation."

Diamond typically keeps his recruitment relatively mysterious and hesitates to tip his hat in any direction at this point in the process.

"Right now, I'm taking it day by day. I've been taking it easy and just watching a lot of college football lately."

Diamond has a number of offers from some of the top football powers in the country such as Auburn, Florida State, Tennessee and many others. One offer that may come in the near future is from the Golden State.

"I think Cal is interested in offering me. So I need to be on the lookout for Cal."

Though the college season is underway, Diamond isn't in any hurry to set up official visits.

"Not right now. I've just been taking unofficials so far."

Diamond was selected for the U.S. Marines Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl game earlier this year and says he may announce his college decision there.

"It's a possibility, but if not, I can always wait. Always have to expect the unexpected."

In the meantime, Diamond is focusing on his current high school season at Chicago Simeon. With quarterback Robert Gregory, an Arkansas commitment, sidelined for a couple games, Simeon lost a couple tough tilts. But Diamond thinks they can rebound.

"Right now we're 2 and 2. We lost two close games. We should be 4-0 right now. We should have won those games, but we aren't worrying about that right now. We have Curie next, so we're focused on Curie."

In Gregory's absence, Simeon went to junior Elcee Burke under center. As talented and athletic as Simeon is, they made do. But the absence of Gregory's leadership and experience was evident.

"We went with a junior quarterback who didn't have as much experience. Robert's a great quarterback. We have him back now, and we're flowing."

So Will Gregory's commitment to Arkansas have any effect on Diamond's recruitment?

"It really doesn't, but it does because he's my quarterback. Rob made his decision based on him and his family, and that's how I'm going to do mine."


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