As a gaggle of proud parents, administrators, media members and others crowded around a large conference table for the moment when attention was focused on the next class of recruits, the enigmatic Diggs was conspicuously absent.
“I thought he might show up at say hi to his teammates,” Falcons Coach Bob Milloy said. “Maybe he’s taking a test or something.”
On Friday, though, the spotlight will return to the player who likes it most. Diggs, a wide receiver and cornerback who was a two-time All-Met and this past season’s All-Met Defensive Player of the Year, is scheduled to announce his college choice.
Comcast SportsNet plans to broadcast Diggs’ announcement.
Diggs is following a trend of recent elite players who have chosen to delay announcing their college choice until after the National Letter-of-Intent signing period is well underway.
Among many close to Diggs, it is believed that Florida is his most like choice. He also is considering Maryland, Ohio State and Auburn, with the Terrapins making a late surge that included an official visit by Diggs last weekend.
Maryland’s chances, though, might have suffered a blow with this week’s news that quarterback Danny O’Brien is considering transferring, though at least one person suggested Diggs already was aware of O’Brien’s potential departure. While new coach Urban Meyer has made a late push, Ohio State’s chances are hurt by its colder climate and a one-year bowl ban for violating NCAA rules under former coach Jim Tressel.
Diggs, who has declined recent interview requests, would be a significant get for any of the schools recruiting him. He is a threat every time he touches the ball and many of his touchdowns came on long plays sure to make any highlight package.
“He’s a great talent,” Milloy said. “All those real, real great ones, they’re a little bit different in their own ways. In all fairness to him, he showed up on Friday night. He got it done on Friday night. He’s really grown up a lot. He’s really worried about his grades and he’s doing the best job he can. We did good by him and he did good by us. It was a good deal.
“In the heat of battle, he just does what he does. I’ll be an interested fan to see where he goes and see if he still freelances like he does in high school. It will be fun to watch.
“There is always a reason why he does things. Sometimes he forgets to tell me and [quarterback Brendan] ‘Whitey’ [Marshall] but there is always a reason.”