Vols are diggin' Diggs

Tennessee is hot on the trail of a high-profile Florida safety.

Jordan Diggs will play his senior season at Island Coast High in Cape Coral, Fla., after playing his junior season at nearby Bishop Verot High in Fort Myers.

Diggs transferred in time to participate in Island Coast's spring practice, and head coach Joe Bowen saw enough of the 6-1, 195-pounder to realize his program has just added a budding standout.

"He looked pretty darned impressive," Bowen told InsideTennessee by telephone. "He's well built, he's fast, he's strong and he's smart. He's what football players are meant to look like, act like and be like."

He has good bloodlines, too. His older brother, Jeremy Ware, just completed his rookie year as a cornerback with the Oakland Raiders after being a seventh-round pick out of Michigan State in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Diggs is coming off an outstanding junior year at Bishop Verot. In 10 games he recorded 38 solo tackles, 24 assists and three interceptions he returned a total of 80 yards. He also recorded 2 pass breakups, 2 fumble recoveries and a sack. On offense he posted 15 catches for 201 yards (13.4 per reception) and 2 touchdowns. His best game came in a 35-7 loss to South Fort Myers, when he registered 13 solos, 4 assists and a sack.

Bowen says his prized prospect is getting a lot of attention from college recruiters, with Tennessee, Auburn, Ohio State, South Carolina and LSU showing the most interest.

"He's wide open at this time," Bowen said. "He's keeping all of his options open but he's definitely interested (in Tennessee)."

One of the most impressive things Bowen has noticed about Diggs is his work ethic.

"I've had other recruits that were happy with where they were and got complacent," the coach said. "He's still hungry, still out there to make a statement. He always wants to learn, always wants to improve."

Although Diggs will play some running back this fall, his coach has no doubt that he's better on defense.

"I think he'll play safety in college. He's so instinctive back there," Bowen said. "He recognizes things back there. His football IQ is off the chart. He's like a coach on the field. The best aspect of his game is his ball skills. That's the best position for him. I can see him being a leader among the defensive backs."

Like most high schoolers, Diggs could benefit from an intense weight-lifting regimen.

"He doesn't really lack anything," Bowen said. "But probably the one area needing work would be to just continue building his strength. He's doing a heck of a job right now, and I wish all of my kids were like him."

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