With National Signing Day less than a week away, we're looking back at the high school careers of some of the region's top players in recent history.
Stefon Diggs was just as challenging to play against in high school as he is now with the Minnesota Vikings, and that was back when he played offense, defense and special teams.
A five-star recruit out of Good Counsel High in Olney, Maryland in the class of 2012, Diggs was the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation and the No. 8 player overall, listed at 6-foot-0 and 185 pounds, according to Rivals.com. And it wasn't just that other high school teams couldn't guard him; they didn't know how.
"Preparing for him was . . . no, it was impossible, to be honest," former Gonzaga coach Aaron Brady told The Washington Post last year.
"There were times when you really thought you had him contained, and it really turned out to be an illusion," added former St. John's coach Joe Patterson.
He could have played football for practically any school he wanted with 32 offers, including from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State and Oklahoma. But he signed with the Terrapins on Feb. 11, 2012.
Diggs kicked off his college career with a spectacular freshman season in 2012 as a wide receiver and on special teams, and it looked like the young wide receiver would re-write Maryland's record books by the time he was finished in College Park.
He finished his first year with the Terps with 1,896 all-purpose yards -- the second-most in a single season in program history, behind Torry Smith. His 172.4 all-purpose yards per game ranked him eighth nationally and second in the ACC (Maryland hadn't left for the Big Ten yet). He was the runner-up for ACC rookie of the year.
"He’s more focused, not to say that he wasn’t before," coach Randy Edsall told The Washington Post after the 2013 spring game. "He doesn’t want to stay the same, he doesn’t want to regress. He really understands the effort that has to go into being a good player."
However, he didn't get the chance to surpass his freshman year. As a sophomore, Diggs broke his leg in an October game and missed the rest of the season. And as a junior, he missed two games with a lacerated kidney and was suspended for a third for an unsportsmanlike conduct incident against Penn State in November of 2014.
Ultimately, Diggs declared for the NFL Draft instead of playing in his senior season at Maryland, and the Vikings drafted him in the fifth round as the 146th overall pick. In his first year, he led the team in receptions and yards with 52 for 720 yards.
And now, he's one of the top receivers in the NFL. In the 2018 season -- the Vikings did not make the playoffs -- he made 102 catches for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns with his longest at 75 yards.
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