Five-star offensive lineman Jordan Diamond toured three campuses this week as he continues to gather information which will ultimately help decide his future on the gridiron.
The Class of 2012 Chicago Simeon product and his teammates, quarterback Robert Gregory and fullback/defensive tackle Terrick Whiten, stopped by Iowa on Monday, Arkansas on Tuesday and Ole Miss on Wednesday. They planned the journey last month.
"These were three schools I wanted to see," the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Diamond said. "I feel like I got a good feel for all of them on this trip."
Diamond, Scout.com's No. 10 OT in'12, saw Iowa at a junior day back in the winter. He felt like this trip allowed him to look deeper into the program and school.
"Iowa was cool," Diamond said. "I just wanted to get a better feel for the coaches and the players. It was a much better time than the first time.
"I got a chance to talk some of the players and go in depth with some of the coaches. There were a lot of guys around unlike the first time I went."
The Hawkeyes have made a big impression on Diamond.
"Iowa stands near the top (of his list of schools) because they send guys to the league left and right, especially from the line position," he said. "That's the advantage that they have mostly over every school that I've looked at so far."
"That definitely helps," he said.
Diamond's Razorback visit surprised him.
"Arkansas is very, very underrated," he said. "It's a very underrated place. It's actually very nice. It's a place where you can go and keep your mind strictly on football. The coaching staff there was great. The players there were great, too.
"I got to see everything I wanted to see. Arkansas was definitely boosted up on the list. I'm hoping to get down there for a game."
Diamond hadn't heard a lot about Arkansas before his trip. The Razorbacks pleasantly surprised him.
"I thought it was just a dry area, you know, just nothing there," Diamond said. "But there are a lot of things there. There are a lot of great restaurants there; a lot of great places to see. It was a good deal. It was more than I expected."
Diamond reported that Arkansas and Iowa offered scholarships to Gregory on the trip. The Razorbacks took a liking to Whiten.
The trio wrapped up the tour in Oxford.
"Ole Miss was a cool, calm place," Diamond said. "It's a nice campus and a nice area to be around. I had a good time down there, too, at Ole Miss."
Diamond said that he saw distinct differences between the two SEC schools.
"Arkansas' facilities were amazing," Diamond said. "Everything is brand new. They're doing a renovation also to get some more brand new stuff down there. It will be even better.
"Ole Miss, there stuff was nice, too. But it was kind of old down there. They talked about a renovation, too, when I talked to Coach (Houston) Nutt in his office.
"The coaching staff down in Arkansas and at Iowa are high-tempo. Those coaching staffs are get-after-it type guys. Down there at Ole Miss, they're kind of laid back and just let things play out. They're cool, calm and collected."
Diamond said that he's open to all types of coaching approaches.
"Yeah, I think I can do the job well in any system that I'm in," he said. "I'll just get comfortable wherever I am with what I have to do."
Diamond said this week's trip was made better by having teammates and friends with whom to discuss what they saw.
"It was cool," he said. "These schools are looking at Robert and me,, so it was a good deal. Coach (Lester) Erb (at Iowa) was excited to show us everything and get to know us personally.
"It was a good deal all the way around and all of these schools caught my attention."
While the three teammates would like to continue their relationship in college, each guy has to do what's best for him.
"It's a possibility that we all play together in college," Diamond said. "But we all have to make our own decisions when it comes down to the end."
The end for Diamond will be after this high school season.
"I'm going to take all of my officials just to see what else is out there," he said. "I want to get out to Oregon and to some of the schools in Florida and Arizona. I just want to take my time with this whole recruiting thing."
Diamond said his final five schools likely will get his official visits.