Maybe it's because he has a brother (Jeremy Ware) who played college ball and is now a proud member of an NFL Franchise (Oakland), that gives him such a solid perspective. Maybe it's because he has a head coach (Phil Dorn) who was a coach in college with programs like Ohio State that puts Jordan Diggs ahead of the curve when it comes to the pressures of recruiting.
Whatever it is, you don't need to talk to this standout safety very long to know that despite the fact that he's already booming in popularity, his most recent offer coming from national champion Auburn - Diggs is in for a smooth ride. "I have learned from so many people that I guess I know how to keep this all in perspective. It's one of those things that you can't commit to a place you've never seen. You can't have a list of favorites if you don't know as much as you can about everyone on that list," said the 6-1, 185 lbs. safety out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida. "And you can't exclude teams, because if you don't know anything about them, how do you know you aren't missing out on learning about a place that might be the right one for you."
Not bad, eh?
Diggs credits those above for a lot of the help in reaching a state of enlightenment about a process that can be overwhelming to some. But not to him. Another reason for that is because he is doing right now what he feels is going to help him down the road, before he makes visits to see places all over the country, from Ohio State to South Florida, Boston College to Nebraska. "I look them up. I read. I study as much as I can about these schools, because I'm never going to make a decision based off what I see on TV," he said. "I have a friend who looked at Florida State as his dream school, so when they offered him that was it. He committed. I always ask him about all those other schools, places he's never been.
"But that's good for him. He's going where he truly wants to be, so that's great. But I know for me I am going to have to make a lot of trips and see a lot of places before I have any idea of where I want to go."
Diggs plays both ways for his high school, but he's viewed as and expects to play safety at the collegiate level. The position hits one particular facet of his game he takes a bit of pride in. "I hit. Man, I love to hit. If I can get a shot on someone, I'm taking it," he said with a laugh.
Of course, Nebraska is one of the baker's dozen currently after him right now. And Diggs said the Huskers are a perfect example of what he means when he says that you need to know everything about a program, because Nebraska is one of those programs everyone knows a whole lot about. "Hey, even down here Nebraska is big time football. Everyone knows that their whole state revolves around that team. And when it's game time, the whole place shuts down to go to the stadium," he said. "I am sure they could get plenty of guys just on who they are. That's big time football. But for me, I'm one of those guys who would still have to take a look to see for myself."
Which he may just do, because surprisingly enough Diggs knew when Nebraska's Spring Game was, scheduled this year on the 16th of April. It's not so surprising when Diggs has at least one of his prep coaches in his ear. "Oh we have a coach who is just a huge Husker fan. He talks about the team, the fans and everything about it," Diggs said. "But I do my own research on places, but Nebraska is one of those places that is definitely interesting to me."
His recruiter is defensive line coach, John Papuchis, or "J.P." as everyone he recruits or possibly even knows, refers to him as. Diggs said that the thing that stands out about the fourth-year assistant at Nebraska is that he cares about a lot more than football. "He asks about me. He cares about who I am as a person and not just as a football player. That's a big deal to me," he said. "I'm a big guy on vibes. I think I can get a good feel for coaches, and the ones who I think are only after me just to get another player on the field, they won't rank as high with me as a coach who asks me about me, my family, how I'm doing - sometimes nothing to do with football.
|Coach "J.P." has been a real positive in the recruiting process, according to Diggs.|
"Whatever that place is I am going to in my future, I'm going to spend a lot more time when I am not playing football than when I am. I need to know a coach is going to be there for me even when it's not time to practice."
Because of the even-handed approach Diggs is taking, you can imagine that he doesn't have any favorites right now. That would be correct, and Diggs said that because he hasn't been anywhere, he's not sure how anyone could assume one team stands above the rest. "I don't get that. I don't understand how you can have a single team on your list of favorites, and you haven't seen a single one of those teams. I need to see a place myself and get a feel for it, before I am going to say they are a favorite," he said. "Of course, all these teams who have offered me, I'm going to be looking harder at them than anyone else. But what makes my situation great right now is that I know everyone of them has been looking hard at me."
That's another thing that Diggs brings to the table that may be a byproduct of everything everyone has given him in the way of knowledge. But there has to be something in your head that can make sense of it all. It's part of you that tells you what is good and bad, and when someone is serious or when they aren't.
He knows who's serious.
"That's the best thing about all these teams that have offered me. All of them have looked at me, asked questions about my family and they have all watched multiple films on me to see if I fit into what they do," he said. "When I know a school has gone to the trouble of doing all that research on me, you know they want you. You know that offer didn't just come in the mail and nobody even asked you to call them back. They have taken the time to invest in you, and I'm just trying to invest some back in all the teams on that list."
That's a lot of investing, and despite how grounded he is right now, Diggs said that he knows he's going to have to get this thing figured out to an extent come the season. At that point all those schools can call once a week, and then you add us, the busy body recruiting reporters. "Yeah, that's probably not going work for me, which is why I am out there and talking to everyone right now. I want to put as much time into recruiting now as I can, whether it's seeing places, talking to the coaches or even the reporters," he said. "I'm hoping that by the beginning of my season I will have a shorter list in front of me, which I will take from what I have seen over the off-season. That's what I am hoping, anyway."
Where he plans on going, he doesn't know right now. When is also up in the air. He just knows that he wants to get out there, and as soon as he possibly can.
As for Nebraska, you can figure they have as good a shot as anyone, even the defending national champs, perhaps even the big three in the sunshine state, which have up to this point, not offered him a ship. And the fact that Nebraska has no real distractions from the football team other than maybe the grain harvest, is kind of appealing. "I like that. It's all about that team. Everyone rallies around that team and roots for them," he said. "You won't get that around here, because there are teams all over the place. Everyone has a team. A place where everyone is looking at just one team would be cool."
Junior: Registered 53 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 sack on defense. Caught 11 balls for 103 yards as a WR and averaged 26 yards per kickoff return. First Team All-Area by News-Press.
Sophomore: Outstanding two way performer that registered 62 tackles, 3 INTs, and a sack on defense. He caught 15 passes for 201 yards and 3 TDs on offense.