- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
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Stefon Diggs took extra time and all of his official visits to determine there's no place like home.
The four-star athlete from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel committed to Maryland on Friday evening just down the road from the Terrapins' campus in College Park. He chose the Terps over Florida, Auburn and Ohio State.
It was an incredible coup for Maryland, which landed one of the highest-rated prospects in its history, despite coming off a 2-10 season. Diggs is No. 13 in the ESPNU 150 and the top prospect in the state of Maryland.
"I want to win championships and what's a better place to do it than in your city," Diggs said during his announcement.
Diggs' commitment leaves just five-star athlete Davonte Neal from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral, the nation's No. 8 prospect, as the lone member of the ESPNU 150 still undecided. He's scheduled to make his choice Feb. 21.
Had Diggs announced his decision on signing day, Feb. 1, Florida was thought to be the odds-on favorite. Instead, Diggs waited until Friday in order to take an official visit to Maryland last weekend. Surely it helped the Terps, but he hardly needed it. Diggs was already very familiar with the nearby campus. He just had to feel wanted and first-year coach Randy Edsall made sure Diggs knew he was a prime target.
"We're very pleased to receive the commitment of Stefon," Edsall said, according to Maryland's website. "He is an impact player who brings a playmaking ability that will enhance our team and certainly help us offensively. He's a great competitor and team player who loves to work every day and win. We're honored and happy to have him."
Diggs' recruitment was about as volatile as any prospects in the nation. Aside from the postponement of his decision, Diggs' list of schools grew and shrank with great regularity. He looked hard at Auburn because of his close relationship with receivers coach Trooper Taylor. Ohio State made a push thanks to coach Urban Meyer. Florida was in prime position before former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left Gainesville to coach Kansas.
While other prospects were trimming their lists, Diggs added to his. USC, California, Virginia and Virginia Tech were also in the running at various times before falling out of contention, as were many other schools nationwide.
In the end, Maryland landed nine commitments from the areas close to its campus. The Terps gained momentum in January when they secured commitments from Diggs' teammate, three-star tailback Wes Brown, and four-star athlete Albert Reid from Washington (D.C.) Friendship.
Dave Hooker covers Southeast and Atlantic Coast recruiting. He has covered recruiting and college football for more than a decade. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.