In the days leading up to the announcement that he would accept a scholarship offer from Maryland, All-Met Player of the Year Stefon Diggs had his mind made up. Yet, the Good Counsel star wide receiver and defensive back – never one to shy from the spotlight – did not want to let the news become public knowledge.
Even on the afternoon of Feb. 10, after his mother, Stephanie, faxed a signed National Letter-of-Intent to Maryland, Diggs wanted to create an air of uncertainty and maintain some drama before making his decision public at a College Park watering hole.
So he took to Twitter to post his musings and insisted that he had yet to choose a college.
“You can’t let everybody know your hand,” Diggs said in an interview this week. “I didn’t want anybody to know until I played my cards. It wasn’t really a secret, but I didn’t want anybody else to know.
“When it’s [time for] business, it’s business. But this is Twitter. It’s just social networking.”
He has yet to begin his college career, but Stefon Diggs already has an idea how to play to the masses. Diggs was so careful not to spill the beans that he called only one coach from the other colleges still pursuing him to inform the coach of his decision, Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor.
“I called him kinda an hour before, so he had a heads up I wasn’t going to come. We haven’t talked since,” Diggs said.
Diggs said he did not call coaches from Florida or Ohio State and has not spoken to any of those coaches since.
“That was bad,” he said. “I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity, but I felt at odds about it. I don’t owe anybody anything, but it’s the right thing to do.”
How did Maryland slip past those national powers to land such a prized recruit?
“It was always in the back of my mind, something I was comfortable with,” said Diggs, who also wanted to stay near his family, including his eighth grade brother. “I really started feeling comfortable a month or so before, when the process was settling down.”
That, of course, would coincide with the hiring of offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who first met Diggs the previous year when he recruited former Good Counsel quarterback Zach Dancel to New Mexico.
“He was a good guy, but back then I had no interest in New Mexico,” Diggs said. “He got a new job and we had a good conversation. … Him coming home was a pretty big deal. We developed somewhat of a relationship. He’s produced athletes, everyone knows that.”
As for the turmoil at Maryland, with 24 players with remaining eligibility having left since Coach Randy Edsall was hired 13 months ago, Diggs said he was not concerned.
“I understand what I’m getting into, the structure Edsall has in place, what he expects and how he wants things run,” Diggs said. “Everybody left for their own reasons. … It doesn’t really matter to me because it wasn’t me, I’m not in the position they’re in.”
Diggs said he hopes to receive a playbook soon so he can begin preparing for the upcoming season. He is unsure where he fits into the Terps’ plans, but expects to play on offense and return kickoffs and punts.
“I want to get everything down pat,” Diggs said. “I don’t know where I’m going to be put on the field, but if you work good things will happen. Hopefully I can get back there [returning kicks]. I want to get back there. Whatever works, to be honest.”
In the meantime, Diggs is working out three days a week, hoping to add some muscle to his 6-foot-1, 187-pound frame. He also is waiting for the SAT score to come back from his most recent test, hopeful that he scored high enough to meet the NCAA’s minimum standards to be eligible to receive a college scholarship.
“I don’t think I’ll have to” take it again, Diggs said. “But if I have to, I will.”