After he made his first trip to Wisconsin last Nov.27 for an unofficial visit when the Badgers clinched the Big Ten title against Northwestern, Diamond got a different feel for the campus, the players and the coaching staff on his day-long visit on Saturday.
"I finally got up there and it was pretty cool," Diamond told Badger Nation. "I got to do everything besides see a football game. I got to talk with some of the offensive linemen and defensive backs, met with all the coaches, saw the campus and got a real good feel for the University of Wisconsin."
Diamond – a four-star offensive tackle that's ranked No.9 in the country at his position by Scout.com – can't recall the names of all the offensive linemen that he spoke to but he remembers the message, although none of them were highly rated and few were highly recruited, they still got the job done, helping three running backs run for over 995 yards and 14 touchdowns last season on the school's Rose Bowl journey.
"They told me that it's the best in the nation for offensive linemen and although they don't get the best talents, the work they put in makes them look like the best talent," Diamond said. "They definitely show that they are a winning team because they come in, bust your butt and make your earn that spot."
In addition to the time he spent with the players, Diamond spoke at length with his recruiting coaches as well as head coach Bret Bielema.
"Coach B and I got a chance to sit down and talk and he's a real funny guy," Diamond said. "He's real cool, down to earth and straight forward also. He's not going to promise you anything, which is a plus. Coach Ash was with me the whole time and I watched some offensive line film with Coach Bostad. I got a good feel for the coaches and the players, so it was a plus.
"I was surprised when Coach Bielema and Coach Bostad told me that they don't sign many linemen, so the opportunity is there for me to get there early and start early."
Diamond hasn't come close to naming a top 10 from his over 30 offers, but says his plan is to have one in place by the end of summer and go to as many games as he can from teams on that list. Expect then that Diamond will be in Madison frequently this upcoming fall.
"I was always really high on Wisconsin, I just never got a chance to get out there," Diamond said. "After the visit, I am still really high on Wisconsin, because they are a linemen factory. They had three linemen drafted and the third guy didn't even start. That says something about Wisconsin.
"The visit only made it better. I am going to be looking at Wisconsin more and try to get up there more often to see some more things and go to some games. I really got a good feeling about Wisconsin."
In addition to Wisconsin, Diamond has visited Ohio State for a practice, Michigan for its spring game and went to Auburn, Ole Miss and Tennessee during his spring break, getting a feel for different conferences and environments. Before the end of the month, Diamond hopes to make another visit to Michigan and a visit to Michigan State.