- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- Simeon senior offensive tackle Jordan Diamond plans to be patient when it comes to his college decision, and he expects the coaches recruiting him to do the same.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Diamond, ESPN’s highest-ranked Illinois prospect, has made it clear that he won’t be choosing a school until after his senior high school season on Chicago’s South Side.
“Everything is wide open,” Diamond said after a recent practice. “I haven’t made a list or anything. I’m just focusing on my season, teaching the younger guys. I’m waiting to the end of the season. That’s when things are going to heat up.”
Diamond is ranked No. 102 in the ESPNU 150 and is considered the 12th best offensive tackle in the country. He’s being recruited by nearly every top college program. Simeon coach Dante Culbreath counted 25 current offers for him.
While Diamond doesn’t plan on a decision until likely November or later, he has been doing his share of research. He’s already made visits to Arkansas, Auburn, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
“I’ve gotten around this year,” Diamond said. “It’s been a great experience for me.”
Diamond would like to also make visits to Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Miami and Oregon. Depending on how Simeon’s season goes, he may take a few of those trips during the high school season.
When Diamond finally does dwindle his list, it’ll come down to the people as much as the football for him.
“Every spot that I basically went to said I would have the opportunity to play early,” Diamond said. “That’s a consistent stand with all the schools. Right now, it’s all about the people, the guys you’re surrounding me with as teammates and players. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Diamond doesn’t fear schools will rescind his scholarship offers as time passes. If some do, that’s fine with him.
“Whoever wants me at the end,” Diamond said. “It’s going to be a dog fight. Anything is possible. The main thing is holding out and seeing where the real coaches are. The real coaches who stick there with you. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Culbreath recommends all his players take their time in recruiting. Former Simeon guard Chris Bryant, another highly-ranked offensive lineman, didn’t commit to Michigan until January of his senior year.
“I try to force them to go through the process,” Culbreath said. “That’s my advice – go through the process. Things may change. You may commit to Oregon, and in the offseason the coach gets fired.”
For now, Diamond’s focus is on his high school team. He’s added some weight in the offseason and worked to improve his speed. His main goal is to help Simeon become the first Chicago Public League team to win a state football championship.
“Just like every year, it’s the state title,” Diamond said. “We’re trying to make history as a CPS unit. We have the talent to do it. Right now, it’s going to be about discipline and hard work.”