Stefon Diggs spurns Florida, commits to Maryland

Many believed the Florida Gators failed to close the 2012 recruiting cycle strong by not securing an uncommitted prospect on National Signing Day, but the potential to add a five-star player a position of need remained a strong possibility heading into Friday evening. Unfortunately for Florida, wide receiver Stefon Diggs (Olney, MD) announced that he would not be travelling down to Gainesville, FL to play college football and would instead stay in his home state and play for the Maryland Terrapins next fall.

Having narrowed his choices down to Maryland, Auburn, Florida and Ohio State, Diggs decided to hold off on making his destination known on National Signing Day (Feb. 1) in order to see more campuses and allow himself additional time to consider his options.

He took an official visit to OSU two weeks ago and checked out his hometown school last weekend before sitting down with his friends and family to make a final decision.

The Gators were happy to wait for his answer, knowing that landing a player of Diggs’s caliber at a position of need was of paramount importance, especially seeing as the team had already lost five-star WR Nelson Agholor (Tampa, FL) to USC.

The No. 8 player in the nation and second-best at his position according to Rivals.com, Diggs possesses a great combination of size and speed and would have been the third wide receiver in UF’s 2012 recruiting class.

Florida already has four-star Latroy Pittman (Citra, FL) and three-star Raphael Andrades (Tallahassee, FL) committed for 2012, though the former may be moved to the secondary and the latter is a candidate to redshirt his freshman season.

The Gators, in dire need of a game-breaking pass catcher, chose to focus their efforts on Diggs and Agholor rather than continuing to also press wide receivers like four-stars JUCO transfer Courtney Gardner (Roseville, CA) and Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, FL) for a commitment. Either could have been a nice addition to Florida’s class, but they are instead headed to Oklahoma and LSU, respectively.

Diggs jumped onto the scene for the Gators during the 2011 Friday Night Lights camp in Gainesville. He impressed Florida’s coaches his fellow participants with his great play, and he immediately became a target for offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

When Weis left the team after the regular season, UF lost ground with Diggs, but new coordinator Brent Pease picked up the slack and promised the recruit that the Gators would continue to run a pro-style offense that would best utilize his talents.

In the end Florida’s pitch was simply not enough to pull him out of his home state, where he will have the opportunity to play good friend four-star running back Wes Brown (Olney, MD) as well as a number of other players he has known throughout his life.

The Gators are close to shutting the doors on recruiting in 2012 with 23 commitments including 14 on defense, eight on offense and one on special teams. Florida, however, is still in play for three-star JUCO offensive lineman Fehoko Fanaika (San Mateo, CA). UF addressed their issues on both lines of scrimmage but failed to land the caliber and number of offensive playmakers they desperately needed heading into next season.

Chomp Away: Do you think the Gators failed to close out the 2012 recruiting cycle properly or was Florida’s inability to secure late commitments simply a string of bad luck? Provide your thoughts and discuss this latest development in the comments section.

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48 Responses to “Stefon Diggs spurns Florida, commits to Maryland”

  1. g8ter27 says:

    Oh well no surprise here. He said he was going to “shock he world” then held his announcement less than a block from the Maryland campus full of their fans…not sure anyone was shocked. Good for him though, didn’t go to OSU or rival Auburn and now maybe he can take that 2-10 team from last year and get them 4 or 5 wins this year….maybe before he leaves even a bowl game. I hope so bc they sure do suck right now and with Under Armor giving them those hideous uniforms they need something to cheer about.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t get how this “no surprise”. Just a week or two ago he was a heavy gator lean.

      Ya, info leaked out at the last minute that he was picking Maryland, but just because you found out a few hours before he announced doesn’t mean it is “no surprise”.

  2. Matt says:

    Apparently never wanted to be a Gator. Ok if he wanted to be at home. Pathetic dragging it out like this, kid or not. Hopefully it was a case of not wanting to leave mommy or choosing Maryland over us looks really bad for us.
    So big time playmakers gonna be fun next year…

    • scooterp says:

      The reason it took so long, is that his school does not allow their players to take OV to college campuses until after the season. He started the process late – as their just were’nt enough weekends in January to see everything. Atleast he didn’t play commit then un-commit games with schools like so many others. I don’t have a problem with how he handled it. It just sucks that it is Maryland. UGHHHH!!!

      • Daniel M. says:

        Does not allow them to take OV’s? It’s really none of their business if he chooses. He could have politely told them to ram it up their snout.

        I just don’t buy into this horse $hlt that he didn’t have enough time to make a decision. I realize there are a lot of considerations. But he had every school rolling out the red carpet for months. It comes down to “look at me.”

        If he wanted to stay home, I respect that. The rest is just diva crap.

  3. Mark says:

    Muschamp can’t close

  4. John Hess says:

    MD? Really. Give me a breaK.

  5. Mr2Bits says:

    Sad when we start to lose top-ranked players to the likes of Rutgers and Maryland. This will certainly be the last time we hear of Diggs.

    • scooterp says:

      Really? Have you watched this guy play. He was unstoppable at FNL and his tape is off the charts. I gaurantee you – he will be an All-American before he is done and will be a first rounder at the draft. Of all the big fish – losing this one hurt the most.

      • g8ter27 says:

        I agree with a lot of your posts but not this one necessarily. Know who else would look great at FNL? John Brantley. No pads, no hitting. Hard to say what this kid will do there, maybe he will be real good, 1st round draft pick however is highly unlikely.

      • Mark says:

        1.) Maryland isn’t southeastern Louisiana state tech college of agriculture. It’s freakin Maryland. It’s in the ACC. A BCS conference!!!

        2.) Not every player that gets drafted has to go to a Florida, Bama, Texas, USC, Ohio St, etc…
        Take a look at some of the top players in the NFL and you will find a good amount didn’t go to “top tier” football schools.

        Some of you are intolerable.

        • g8ter27 says:

          settle down terrapin Mark, nobody said UM wasn’t in a BCS conference or that Terrell Owens didn’t go to UT Chattanooga etc etc. All we are saying is that Maryland sucked this year, probably will the next 3 years, has questionable coaches on its staff, and Diggs would have had much more exposure playing at UF (would have at OSU or Auburn too)…it is good that the little guy gets a win every now and then so I am happy for you and the rest of Terrapin Nation. Hopefully we get more production out of the offensive studs we have on the team, recruit some great backs and receivers next year (and there a lot out there) and get some more O-lineman and the Gators will be just fine.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          lol the same ACC that is 2-12 or so in BCS games? seriously? Not to put down MD or the ACC but really?

  6. Alex says:

    I say this knowing we have the #3 recruiting class in the country… but we just lost 3 5star players to the likes of Miami who is facing probation, Maryland the bottom feeder of a bottom feeder conference, and Rutgers who didn’t even have a coach at the time. Then, we lost 2 other 5 star kids despite having a location advantage to USC and UGA (at least these school are somewhat respectable). The ability to CLOSE needs to be strongly questioned.

  7. SpikE says:

    People keep mentioning how Maryland hiring locksley helped them. Did diggs parents not know about his issues at new Mexico? Assault? Sexual harassment? Strange. Very likely his coach is canned within 2-3 years, that he never sees a bowl game, and I rarely on national tv. Now- I do hope he puts up huge numbers vs FSU and Miami. But Maryland as a football program – complete irrelevance. Oh well. Better Maryland than osu or auburn. Another kid who chose a bottom feeder program or a school on probation or a school about to get hammered with sanctions instead of UF. That bothers me but then again, I don’t know these kids or what they are told by others. Or what muschamp does or doesn’t say.

  8. aaron says:

    I’m just wondering why it was suppose to be announced at 10 but he committed 2 hours early. Has not signed Loi yet either.

  9. Tractorr says:

    Well Maryland certainly needs all the help after all look what the Daz was able to do to them http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/maryland-football-clubbed-by-temple-in-shocking-38-7-loss/2011/09/24/gIQAXv00tK_story.html

  10. g8ter27 says:

    I think regarding your question is a little of both. We failed to close for sure, have to do better next year with that. But I also think some was just bad luck. We lose Howard to Miami (home town school) we lose Hamilton to Rutgers (home town school) we lose Diggs to Maryland (home town school). Young was not coming once we signed DJ, why our staff did not realize this I have no idea. Harvey-Clemons to UGA wasn’t a big shock either. (what bothers me about UGA is the Boles pipeline to Athens). Williams and Agahalor going to USC actually is more troubling to me. I know neither one was a lock and there were reasons they may not go here but those were not home town crappy schools (yes even Miami) that took our recruits, it was Kiffin.

  11. Joe says:

    What good are athletic players if we can’t stop the run or block for our QB. Muschamp closed the way we NEEDED to close, not the way we wanted to. He did a great job.

  12. Matt says:

    All I see on here is people forgetting we have a top 5 recruiting class. Just believe in muschamp and the players we got. Just because they are 5 stars doesn’t mean they are gonna be monsters. A 3 star with less ego and more get it done could become an all American for all we know

    • Ken (CA) says:

      I am still a bit baffled at that, actually, we had a decent recruiting season and filled a lot of needed holes (well, at least filled a year or two from now when they mature) but we really didn’t get any players that are immediate impact game changers. Not really sure why we ranked so high unless this was a fairly week year i recruiting in general.

  13. Mr2Bits says:

    How any kid would willingly play for Mike Locksley is beyond me. The guy had a hard time getting along with the laid-back coaching staff of the Fighting Zookers, then parlayed the success of Rashard Mendenhall as the OC of Illinois into a head coaching gig at the University of New Mexico.

    While at UNM he managed to have an age and sex discrimination lawsuit filed against him, was suspended for 10 days without pay for punching one of his own coaches, all while leading the Lobos to a glorious 2-26 overall record over the course of 2 full seasons and 4 games into his 3rd season (of which he started off with a 0-4 record).

    Locksley has the reputation of being a womanizer, bully, liar and opportunist. Also, he apparently can’t coach worth a **** given his abysmal 2-26 record as a HC. Illinois fans were never sold on him as a play-caller, as most felt like he underachieved with the talent available to him, even though he was the OC during the season Illinois made it to the Rose Bowl.

    It would not be a stretch in the least to believe that this entire Diggs fiasco was orchestrated in part by Locksley himself. Given how big of a tool Diggs is turning out to be (reports that he already signed with Maryland 4 days ago), is it any wonder he’ll be spending his college career with an even bigger tool?

  14. DGLBkGATOR FAN says:

    Did anyone think we were really going to have 7 or 8 five star recruits ?? That never happens even in 2010 which was considered greatest class ever UF still only had four…. UF need skill players but they need more production from the ones who are already here Dunbar, Story, Debose, mack brown etc etc.

  15. Greg says:

    I’m perfectly fine with this. People need to realize that this is Muschamp’s SECOND year and he has already reeled in a consensus Top 5 class. As long as this cat didn’t smash up to Ohio St. and out West to Auburn I’m perfectly fine with him going to Maryland. In the end the Terps will need him much more than us. Good luck to Stefon and Randy Edsell on turning that program around.

  16. Pdiddy says:

    We can’t win if we can’t score. Great recruiting class but we really needed skill position players bad.

  17. John S. says:

    Disappointed but at least it’s Maryland. Receivers are tricking anyway, the egos can lead to huge busts. We need to land the last visit though or early commitments. Good things may be in store at junior day. Locksley is definitely a factor though. I hoped Muschamp would spring for the PI tale but oh well.

  18. Gator John says:

    Can anyone say Terrelle Pryor? Only difference is I don’t think we will hear about this kid much. Does Maryland have a QB that can get him the ball?

  19. KB says:

    JHC, Agholor, and Williams all within close proximity to UF and chose to go elsewhere even though the prospects of seeing the field quicker with UF seemed to be higher than the schools they chose. I am not sure what it says when kids choose schools like Rutgers & Maryland rather to be closer to home but the kids in the state of Florida like Agholor jump ship and abandon the opportunity to stay closer to home. I really don’t get it but this is recruiting… I won’t be surprised when a lot of these who made their decisions for whatever reason transfer in a year or two. I still have faith in Champ but this is a cause for concern if this becomes a trend.

  20. Swift_Tech says:

    OMGfire Muschamp asap. in his second year his top 5 class is pathetic! We have no use for 3 star or lower players at uf. Beacuse we all know that every player who is five stars or better becomes all world..every time. Just look at debose,PATCHAN, hunter, jenkins. Next year on d alone 5* GUYS floyd hunter easley jenkins elam powell guess tht means we wont give up more than 4 points a game. not picking up every single target thats high profile is a terrible trend……we might as well hire k bell and call it a day.

  21. Swift_Tech says:

    guess muschamp should sign 10 wr 1 fb and 5 rb next class to make everyone happy. Nevermind the ol that actually provides the holes for the backs. The 5 star guys can make their own holes, thats what the extra star is for….right? remember how good demps and rainey looked when they had 2 pounceys trautwein watkins and hernandez blocking for them. Im so proud of caoch boom and our hard working staff…they know football and they also know that it all starts up front. GO GATORS!

  22. junior says:

    UF has officially been relegated to middle of pack the status and brought back the ole “Wait ’til next year”

  23. Jon says:

    Maryland? Really? Stefon Diggs: Big fish in a completely irrelevant pond

  24. Chizzle1986 says:

    Totally agree with you, great class this year. You can’t always get these high profile kids….kids are kids and don’t always make the logical or smart choice. Just check out Stefon’s twitter, kid has leveraged this and dragged it out to publicize himself as much as possible. Frankly, I would rather have hard nose hard working football players who have the want to rather than pre-madonna’s who will be a distractions in the locker room. It all starts up front in this league and I think we are well on our way to getting back to where we all want to be.

    With that said, it still would have been nice to land Diggs. We were right there, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

  25. BigD says:

    Yes not getting Diggs hurt a little… That’s right, a little. It’s not like he is the next Percy harvin who will get us to a national championship. The class we got was exactly what we needed. Yeah its kinda a bummer when we don’t get these five star guys but we got up front will be crazy good these next few years and the D will be one of the best in the nation. For the gators to win games they needed to have a line to block for young QBs and give our skill players time to get open and we got that! If the skill players we have will grow up and listen to coaches and learn to catch we have plenty of guys to take care of business… Stop looking at the very few negatives of this class and look at all the positives!

    • GG says:

      Good points. Think we make an offensive haul next year when we prove we have turned the corner from the pathetic play we have seen the last 2 years. Diggs would have helped but we do have enough players without him. Hard to compete with the hometown team, whoever they are.

  26. TA says:

    If I was diggs I wouldn’t go to Maryland or UF. Neither team has a reliable qb and whose to say jacoby or driskel doesn’t transfer after losing the starting job…I know we are Florida but were not going to be good on offense at least next yr. the upside UF has is that our defense will keep us in every game next yr and we will be on tv a lot so he would have been seen. I think he made a mistake but let’s have a good yr first before we start to expect 5 star playmakers to come our way. 3 coordinators in 3 yrs and two terrible seasons doesn’t make me want to jump to UF right away…

  27. ncgator says:

    I don’t think some of these kids want to play in the SEC. It’s a helluva lot easier to live up to your 5-star status in the ACC, Big East or PAC 12 than it is in the SEC. To be a stud in the SEC, you have to earn it every week. Look at the number of 4-5 star players transferring year in and year out from big name schools who couldn’t cut it. Diggs will be a big fish in a little pond at Maryland. Some kids have the stones to relish the competition and some don’t. This kid has a huge ego as demonstrated by his signing day histrionics. He just doesn’t want to risk that limelight by playing with kids as good or better than he is. The gators have had enough entitlement attitudes, we didn’t need another one.. Maryland can have him.

  28. Jesse C says:

    Well, we had better get some better production out of Hammond, Hines and Debose. I hope Pease can get the call to our talented TE’s this year. As usual though, if the O-line performs well is both running and passing situations, we will most likely get better production out of all of our offensive skill players. GO GATORS!

  29. J.J. says:

    I think what happened is that the kid got scared. He probably saw the kind of competition he’d have to go up against in the SEC while he was at the US Army game in January and realized he A) couldn’t stand out as much and B) he would get massacred, and after watching someone like Sammy Watkins (not saying this kid is on Watkins’s level at all) play so well in the ACC he thought he’d be better off there.

    But this is why you don’t go after only three or four WRs in a cycle especially when they’re flash-in-the-pan type like Diggs. For every Percy you’re lucky to get you get a bunch of Deonte Thompsons and Jarred Faysons, and you need guys like Louis Murphy and David Nelson to back them up. We have absolutely none of those on the roster right now. We should have recruited guys like Amari Cooper and Malcolm Lewis but didn’t because fatboy Weis was an idiot and Muschamp let him do what he wanted.

  30. Mr. Green says:

    Muschamp is a proven recruiter and coach of DEFENSIVE players.

    The scintillating film we showed recruits of the 2011 WEIS offensive debacle impressed exactly NOBODY.

    Against all odds Weis leaves and what does the offensive mastermind Muschamp do but tell the world we will be KEEPING the jewel that was our 2011 offensive playbook.

    Enter Pease and good luck to him. The guy’s background of Kentucky, Montana and Northern Arizona prior to his stint with Boise is not impressive. At Boise he had success but as we all know the SEC is a different beast.

    If Pease is the real deal as an SEC Offensive Coordinator lets hope that A) He can recruit(!) and B) Muschamp lets him run an offense that is not exclusively 3 YARDS AND A CLOUD OF DUST.

    Our offense is far from the top tier of the SEC and whether he likes it or not, our success (and HBC Muschamp’s longevity) will be tied to that offense.

  31. Tractorr says:

    Sure Maryland is the home town team, but I am starting to think that we may be better off without Diggs. He is showing that he is something of a diva which will not work with what Muschamp is trying to do. Also, going to a place like Maryland confirms this. He wants to be the star, he doesn’t want to share the limelight. At UF there are too many other big players (maybe not scorers but a ton of talent) that he would have to compete with for the media’s attention.

    • Tractorr says:

      What is far more disturbing is Algahor (or however you spell it). It seems that the coaching staff thinks Florida can just keep recruiting nationally and they are wrong. Meyer can recruit nationally as he proved. Florida needs to setup the Gator Nation in North Central Florida and not let anyone get out.

    • scooterp says:

      That is some really shallow insight. He wanted to stay home and play in front of his family. The guy tore it up at FNL and he is a game changer. The variety of insults about the kid ….. ” he must not want to play against competition” or ” he is a diva who wants all the attention to himself”…. all make you sound like 3rd graders. First of all, the guy will be a stud at the college level. His tape is unbelievable and he is better in person. This one really stings. No, he will not be forgotten – I’m telling you – mark this down – he will have a very successfull college career. Secondly, these kids make some of there decisions based on family not themselves – his father passed away 4 years and maybe, just maybe, he felt MD had enough to offer that would keep him happy and also keep him close to home.

    • Nick says:

      Scared of competition at reciever, really? Have you looked at the “depth” at WR lately? Lets not be silly, the staff was looking for Diggs or Algahor to come in and get playtime/push for a starting position immediately.

  32. npgator says:

    I flat out wouldn’t recruit that school or state for that matter again. WASTE of time!

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