Some college is going to hit a home run if and when they sign Brookwood senior Alex Diggs.
So said Brookwood head football coach Phillip Jones, who has seen Diggs go from Gwinnett Football League sensation to respected elder statesman of the Broncos.
“He’s always been an extremely special player,” Jones said of the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Diggs. “He’s a focused, dedicated, hard-working, high-academic kind of kid. He’s humble and he’s always been that way. Those kinds of characteristics rub off on everybody else around him. Guys around him see the way he goes about his work, see the way he does things, sees his focus and they jump on board.”
Diggs, who in eight games this season has accounted for 14 touchdowns, 593 rushing yards and 762 receiving yards, is experiencing a rather quiet response from colleges this fall, but he’s not losing any sleep over it. In last week’s big Region 4-AAAAAAA win over Grayson, he rushed 14 times for 137 yards and three TDs, and had seven catches for 102 yards.
“It’s definitely slow at the moment, but I’m talking to a bunch of (college) coaches, and at Brookwood our coaches are reaching out to alumni at colleges and letting them know about me,” said Diggs, who also carries a 4.0 GPA.
“There are a lot of folks who have taken a look,” said Jones. “And there have been a lot of folks working very hard on his behalf. He’s the kind of kid who will make an incredible addition to any program. A lot of colleges that only look at the measurables, and if you only look on paper, some would say he’s a little too short and maybe a step slow for their program.
“Once some of these colleges can get past the measurables, as they call them, and start to measure his heart and all the intangibles he brings to the team and how much better he makes the players around him and his versatility, somebody’s going to feel like they hit a home run when they sign him.”
While some recruits rightly enjoy the drama of late-in-the-term commitments, many others make their pledges public before their final high school seasons to eliminate at least one potential distraction in their lives. But what about the players who have talent but no overwhelming interest? Does the lack of attention present a hindrance?
“I think Alex trusts it will work out for the best,” said Jones. “He trusts that if he keeps playing hard and stays in the here and now, good things will happen for him. He knows he’s got a lot of good people in his corner pushing hard for something good to happen to him.
“The beautiful thing about Alex is he’s so different from a lot of high schoolers. He’s in the moment. He’s not thinking about the next level right now, he’s not thinking about himself right now. He’s thinking about how he can make the 2021 Broncos better so he’s present in the moment with us. Something good is going to happen for him pretty soon.”
“I’m unselfish. If everybody eats, I eat, too,” said Diggs. ”I’m doing what we need to do to win.”
Diggs said he’s been pleased with his production this season, although he admits he’s a little surprised that he’s got more yards in the air than on the ground, even though he added he labored in the spring and summer to develop skills as more than a player catching passes out of the backfield. He has 46 catches through eight games.
“I feel our team overall has excelled and I feel I’ve met my own expectations, but I still feel like I could do more,” said Diggs. “Coming into this season, it’s surprising to me because I’ve always been a running back first. But I’m an athlete. I’ll do whatever we need and if I need to run the ball or catch the ball, I can do both because I worked my butt off during the offseason to develop my receiving skills and it has shown on the field.”
The Broncos (6-2) are off to a 2-0 start in 4-AAAAAAA play with games against South Gwinnett on Friday and Parkview in the regular-season finale standing between them and the region title.
“We’ve got to stay healthy,” said Diggs. “The bye week gives everyone a chance to get healthy and to get rest. We just need to focus on the little things; it’s always the little things that keep teams from reaching their full potential. If we execute the little things right, we’ll be good.”