Follow me! Follow me to freedom!
I'm not convinced there's such a thing as a program-changing commitment in football, but Stefon Diggs to Maryland is probably as close as it gets.
The consensus five-star, top-ten Good Counsel wide receiver just pulled the trigger for the Terrapins today at local College Park bar Looney's, over Ohio State, Auburn, and Florida, among a host of other offers. Diggs is reported to have said, "I wanna win championships, I wanna win bowl games, and what better place to do that than this city," before putting on his Maryland hat. He finished with "I wouldn't be nowhere without my city, so I want to finish it with y'all. ... I'll see y'all in the fall."
He was the best uncommitted recruit in the country on every major ranking service, as well as the consensus #2 wide receiver in the country. His commitment marks a potential sea change in the fortunes of Maryland's currently-woebegone football program.
Diggs is an electric wide receiver with elite speed and escapability, a true home-run threat every time he touches the ball. Rivals often compares him to DeSean Jackson, and while that's not a perfect comparison - Diggs is a little bigger, Jackson a little faster in terms of straight-line speed - it isn't far off. He loves the spotlight, plays with intensity and swagger, and can be a game-changer either as a receiver or a returner.
You'd expect Diggs to step in and start from Day One at the very least as a return man in place of the uninspiring Justus Pickett, and likely at wide receiver as well. The thought of Diggs lining up with Kevin Dorsey is tantalizing indeed.
Not to be overlooked is the potential snowball effect this will have in local recruiting. Although many rate Eddie Goldman more highly, I'd wager that Diggs has the biggest reputation among all local recruits, and probably the biggest since Derrick Williams in 2005 - fellow Good Counsel recruit Jelani Jenkins in 2009 is the only one who comes close. This sends a message: Maryland is a viable option for D.C.-area elites, and they will fight hard to keep them. Kendall Fuller? Dorian O'Daniel? Derwin Gray? Jonathan Allen? They all just sat up and took notice.
Give props to Randy Edsall for not entirely messing this up, but I'll say what I've always said: he wasn't an important factor here. ("Program CEO", remember?) The real credit goes to Mike Locksley, who engineered a near single-handed turnaround with Diggs, reeling in his former teammates Wes Brown and Zach Dancel before making a big push and ultimately securing Diggs' commitment.
Bask, friends. Bask in the glory.