Most Important Texas Players

LonghornDigest.com is counting down the 10 most important players for a successful Longhorn season in 2011. At No. 6 is rising freshman cornerback Quandre Diggs.

6) Quandre Diggs, cornerback

I debated which cornerback to add to this list. Originally, it was Adrian Phillips, as he appeared likely to draw the No. 1 cornerback role. But Phillips has played kind of a catch-all position in fall camp, appearing at corner, nickel back and safety.

So instead, I added the list's second true freshman (Jaxon Shipley was No. 8). Carrington Byndom should be steady at the other corner spot, but Diggs, a physical cornerback with natural instincts, could be the key toward having an OK (or even bad) corner grouping or an excellent one.

Nobody can doubt his pedigree, as both his brother (Quentin Jammer) and cousin (Cedric Woodard) were each three-year starters at Texas and spent time in the NFL. But while Woodward was a defensive lineman, it's Jammer, a former All-American, that Diggs resembles the most.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Diggs was a playmaker in high school, scoring as a thrower (five touchdown passes), a runner (17 touchdowns rushing), a receiver (one touchdown reception), a punt returner (three scores), a kickoff returner (two touchdowns), a defensive player (one interception return for a score), a special teamer (returned a blocked extra point for a score). That's 30 scores (29 touchdowns and a two-point conversion return) obtained in seven different ways, and that was just in his senior year, when he was named the district 23-4A MVP and made various All-State and All-American teams.

But perhaps his best accomplishment came in the spring, when Diggs enrolled early and took campus by storm, pushing his way into the conversation for a starting spot with Phillips and Byndom. He carried that momentum through the summer and into fall camp, and now it appears he'll start the Rice game opposite Byndom. He's also in the mix for a potential starting spot in the return game.

At this point, there's no doubting Diggs' potential: it's through the roof. But in a league stacked with talented wide receivers, a large part of the Longhorns' success could depend on him getting to that point sooner rather than later.


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