Quandre Diggs: Texas 2011 Football Recruiting Spotlight

Vitals

Name: Quandre Diggs

Position: DB

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 188

40 Time: 4.4

High School: Angleton

Rivals Rating: 4*, 5.9

ESPN Recruiting Evaluation ($)


Diggs is a running back, quarterback and cornerback/nickel all wrapped into one and he possesses a special blend of speed, quickness, smooth hips and ideal change-of-direction skills. We feel he will likely end up as a corner and return specialist and all his physical traits would lead you to believe he could end up being one of the better ones to come out of this class. He has the run support instincts of last years Jon Fulton and the ball skills and cover skills of Greg Reid from the 2009 class. He possesses just marginal height, but a strong, sturdy build and he plays very physical. His open field run skills as a run oriented QB are excellent. He is quick, decisive and explosive. Shows good vision and can make people miss. Possesses excellent stop and start ability and a low center of gravity. His hips are smooth and he shows very good lateral agility to jump cut. This physical traits along with a pesky attitude are why he excites coaches on defense. He does not have the physical stature to consistently play close to the box, but he is feisty and will fill versus run-- likes to mix it up. Plays inside and outside. He is a versatile player that has good awareness. Is quick and balanced in his pedal and shows good burst coming out of it. Rarely takes false steps and while he has the tools to take chances, he does not take many. His risks are calculated and he makes a lot of plays on the ball. He can accelerate and shows impressive burst breaking on the ball. He has the hips to transition on vertical routes. Covers a ton of ground and rapidly reaches top speed. Ball skills are very good and he certainly can make things happen with INT's. As a kick and punt returner he possesses the tools to be a field position changer. Overall, Diggs will have to transition to defense full time and continue to develop, but the learning curve will not be steep. He is instinctive and competitive and he is a playmaker in all three phases of the game.

Strengths

First and foremost, Quandre is just a phenomenal, phenomenal all-around football player. He can play QB, RB, CB, S, and both return positions. Hell I wouldn't doubt he'd make a star WR as well. If you've got your pick of the litter of all Texas high school football players to start a pick-up football game, Diggs is going to be right near the top based on versatility alone.

Diggs has everything you want from an athletic perspective. He's fast, quick, agile, fluid, and gets to top speed effortlessly. His change of direction is dynamic and sudden and he can tear a defense apart with his lateral cutting ability.

I definitely think he could play RB at UT due to his athletic gifts, toughness, stocky body type, and adeptness in the open field, but he'll start out as a DB for new defensive backs coach Jerry Gray. Hopefully he'll get some run on the offensive side of the field because I'm pretty sure Harsinwhite could come up with some nasty ways to attack the defense with his diverse skill set.

Defensively, Diggs will likely play cornerback and Nickel back, although his physical nature in the coverage game would definitely allow him to spend significant time at safety if the players ahead of him don't pan out there. We need his aggressive and multifaceted play at CB right now, though, while we've got a couple young options in guys like Kenny Vaccaro and Adrian Phillips that should be primed for the future at safety.

Quandre is the complete package at CB in that he is a lockdown man-to-man guy, can make big time plays in zone coverage that go for points the other way, and is a willing tackler in the running and short passing game. He's an effortless hip-turner and has elite recovery ability if he gets beat, both of which are aided by his smaller stature. Diggs will also be a guy that can come around the edge on a blitz every now and then and smack the quarterback, which will be a frequent blitz package new DC Manny Diaz will employ when Diggs is in the Nickel. He's not Aaron Williams in that you start drooling when he lines up near the line of scrimmage, but nobody's going to be hiding him as far away from the action as possible Curtis Brown-style either.

Finally, Diggs is a very high effort guy who doesn't quit on plays and gives it his all every snap. He loves the game of football and it shows in his play.

Weaknesses

There just aren't very many. He's listed at 5'10", so he's possibly shorter than 5'9", which is always a problem against the kind of bigger, athletic receivers that teams like OSU, Tech, and Mizzou seem to find so easily despite lesser recruiting bases.

Diggs will also have to adjust to playing DB full time once he gets to UT after spending a large amount of time last year playing QB for Angleton last season. Will the physicality he played with in high school as a defensive back translate to college where the players are almost exclusively going to be much bigger than he is?

Target Body Type

Quandre's body is already well developed for such a young player, so he doesn't have a whole lot of work to do (or, at least, more than usual) on his physique other than continuing to add strength throughout his career. He'll probably get up to around 200 because of his solid build, which would make him a terrifying defender for offenses to gameplan around.

Final Analysis

In case you couldn't tell, Quandre is one of my favorite players in the class. This isn't just because of his high talent level either, it's because of how much he loves being a Longhorn and the pride he takes in his commitment. He routinely Facebooks with other commits like Onyegbule, Shipley, and Greenlea about their future plans at UT and how excited he is to be in Austin for the next four years. I also loved his post the day that Christian Westerman decommitted about how Texas is going to win with or without him. Badass. He was another guy, like Chet Moss, who never wavered on his commitment and did his best to keep the class together in the wake of the coaching changes.

As a football player, he has a really great chance to play as a freshman, especially since he's enrolling early. With the youth and almost complete lack of experience at CB, Diggs could definitely get some early run at the Nickel and certainly will at least see time on special teams.

Player Comparison

Darren Sproles/Earl Thomas combination.



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