One of the most intriguing prospects we have looked at so far this year is Diyral Briggs, a DE/TE from Cincinnati Mt. Healthy. Briggs stands in at 6-4, 210, and what's unique about him is how fast he has risen to become one of Cincinnati's best players.
"Last year's his first playing football, and he had 17 TFL and 7 sacks," said Mt. Healthy head coach Kurry Commins. "That's his first year playing football, so he's extremely raw."
Interestingly, the clip that is available now in the Bucknuts Video Library is a clip from his first game ever against Cincinnati Roger Bacon. Coach Commins talked a bit about that game.
"Bacon had a fullback who signed with UC, and Diyral just destroyed him," he said.
Diyral was impressive at both DE and TE last year. Where will he play in college?
"He's defensive end all the way," Coach Commins said. "Most of it has been defensive coaches that have been in. Most schools are looking at him at DE."
"He can play TE; he caught 9 passes for 111 yards and had 4 TDs," Coach Commins continued. "We've only thrown 53 passes in two years. We're an option team, but when we throw him the ball, he's very effective. But he's defensive minded. He's a Ray Edwards (Cin. Woodward DE, signed with Purdue in Feb.) clone. He's just like Ray; he's a little bit taller and a lot faster…
"Our two ends are just hard rush. They have no other job but to contain. They're bringing the noise every time, and that's something he's good at. He's just an athlete… He led the city in rebounds in basketball. He's the real deal."
What does Diyral think?
"I don't care where I play," he said. "Offense or defense, it doesn't really matter… I don't care where they put me, just put the ball in my hands. I'll make something happen."
Diyral recently went to the Nike Camp in Blacksburg, VA and showed some of that athleticism.
"He just went to the Virginia Tech Nike Camp," Coach Commins said. "I took him there and he did extremely well there. It was about 45 degrees outside and raining and he ran on the grass and he ran a 4.68 on the grass, so he's probably a solid 4.6 right now. So he's looking really good."
Briggs is not done on the camping circuit either as he'll have a busy month of June.
"On June 1st we're going to Indiana," Coach Commins said. "We're going to Illinois's one day camp June 21; we're going to South Carolina one day camp. I believe he's going to Ohio State's senior camp."
These schools and more have shown heavy interest.
"UC has officially offered," Coach Commins said. "Miami (OH) offered (Wednesday). Maryland has tentatively offered, awaiting his test scores. You name it, they've been in, from West Virginia, to Wisconsin (was in Wednesday) to Maryland, to Pitt, to South Carolina. Most of the big schools have been in. Illinois has been extremely interested. Indiana has been extremely interested.
Who would Diyral like to hear from more?
"He's excited about the whole process," Coach Commins said. "He'd like to hear a little bit more from Ohio State. He's a huge Ohio State fan. But he's pretty excited about what he has right now. He wants to get away from home, but he doesn't want to go too far. I think he's going to end up somewhere around here in the Midwest, be it Illinois, Indiana, maybe Pitt or West Virginia… something that's not a 5-6 hour drive away. He comes from a pretty tough environment, so staying at home is kind of important to him."
Diyral definitely confirmed that he is interested in hearing more from the Buckeyes.
"Where I want to go is Ohio State," he said. "I want to wait and see what happens there before I make any decisions. My other schools are Illinois, Indiana, NC State, and Pitt."
Diyral is also doing well in the classroom. He had a 3.5 last quarter.
"He just took the ACT last week," Coach Commins said. "GPA-wise, he's fine. He's going to qualify. He's more than OK. His grades are really, really good this year."
Diyral has been putting in a lot of hard work lately, and it shows.
"Work first, then comes fun," he said.
There's still work to do on the field too although there seems to be no doubt he will continue to develop into what he can become.
"Instinctive-wise, he's fine," Coach Commins said. "I say ‘raw' as in his techniques and fundamentals for the game. A lot of it he gets by with right now because of he's so fast for being that big, and he can get away with some stuff. One thing he does need to work on is his upper body strength. His lower body we tested last week, and he power cleaned 285 and he squatted 505, so his legs are unbelievably strong. He has a 29-inch vertical. His upper body, he maxed out at 240. That's not horrible, but that's probably one area that he's going to need a little bit of work on."
This is a name to remember in Ohio recruiting this year. Diyral Briggs has caught the attention of many of the Midwest's top schools, and it looks like things will only get better from here.
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