Notre Dame received some good news for the 2021 recruiting class this week when Metairie (La.) Archbishop Rummel running back Logan Diggs announced his commitment to the Irish. Diggs was the first running back offer the staff handed out after long-time top target Will Shipley chose Clemson over Notre Dame, and adding him to the class was significant.
The Notre Dame coaching staff secured Diggs’ pledge over the likes of USC, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Nebraska, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan State, Purdue, Virginia and Vanderbilt among several others.
Before he went public with his decision, I spoke with Rummel head coach Nick Monica to talk about Diggs as a person and teammate. We were also able to dive into why Diggs’ felt Notre Dame was the best fit for him. Diggs is a terrific student, a leader on the football field and other topics.
“He is a kid that is well liked by his teammates, other students and faculty,” Monica told Irish Breakdown. “He’s never had any disciplinary issues, he carries a 3.4 GPA and he’s a good kid that we don’t hear complaints about.”
When Diggs first got to Rummel, football wasn’t really his first choice. Diggs was a track star and also played basketball. Monica noticed he had a really good athlete on his hands and wanted to throw a lot on Diggs’ plate early on in his high school career. The running back spot would ultimately prove to be his best position on the field.
“I don’t think football was his best sport when he came to Rummel,” Monica noted. “We moved him around a little bit. We tried him on defense to start just to get him on the field, because he was a good athlete. Eventually, we shifted him back to offense, and he received a few carries as a freshman and put some good numbers.
“As a sophomore, he had a really strong year for us,” the Rummel head coach continued. “And then this past year as a junior, had it not been for him splitting carries, he would have put up another 1,000 yard season.”
Monica mentioned that Diggs really matured physically as a junior. His body is starting to catch up to his talent level and style of play, and that should make for a really impressive final prep season for the new Notre Dame commit. Diggs will be relied upon heavily as both a player and a leader in the locker room as a senior.
“He has definitely grown, and filled out a bit.” explained Monica. “He is more of a physical runner now, and he has really matured both physically and as a person. We are going to lean on him pretty heavily this year to be a leader for us. Last year we had a big senior class and some more vocal guys, so he didn’t have to be that guy for us. This year he will have to be.
“He already has the respect of his teammates,” Monica continued. “We need him to be the guy everyone is looking at to do things the right way.”
As a football player, Monica made it clear that Diggs has transformed into a tough physical runner, but he is also noted that he is much more than that. He plays with confidence, has terrific feet and is adept at making defenders miss in the open field.
“He is about 190 pounds right now, and very strong”, he said. “So like I mentioned, he has that physical aspect to his game. He’s not a blazer, but he has really good feet and does a great job at anticipating his cuts. He understands the running back position and knows how to set up defenders. And then one of the most impressive things for a kid his age is his pass protection. Guys usually just want the football at this level, and when they don’t get it they either aren’t happy or don’t work quite as hard. He definitely does.”
Regarding his interest in Notre Dame, Diggs leaned heavily on safeties coach Terry Joseph, and that relationship really paved the way for his eventual commitment to the program earlier this week.
Joseph, a native of Louisiana, sold Diggs on the culture of Notre Dame, and all that it could provide him. Monica also mentioned that offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and Diggs spoke on several occasions, and that relationship was also instrumental in his decision. He recalled that Diggs is the first athlete Notre Dame has recruited from his program in his fifteen years on the staff.
“Coach Joseph did a fabulous job of staying in touch and telling Logan the right things.” Monica stated. “I know almost every time I heard them speak or Joseph spoke to me, he mentioned academics and that side of Notre Dame. Logan knew what he would be getting from them by going to school there. It was really hard not to be impressed by what they have to offer.
“I know they set up a zoom call with him and the entire offensive staff, and I also know that Coach Rees has spoken with him several times,” continued Monica. “With everything going on with Covid-19, communication has certainly been different for myself as well as our athletes, but I know that Coach Joseph was in touch with him the most and then Coach Rees was always in touch with him as well. It’s great, I’ve been at Rummel for fifteen years, and I think this is the first kid Notre Dame has recruited, so everyone is really excited about it.”
From a star rankings perspective, this isn’t going to turn heads or be the sexiest of pickups for Notre Dame fans; especially after missing on Shipley. However, after doing my initial film analysis and speaking with Diggs’ head coach this week, it is clear Notre Dame is landing an incredibly talented and mature athlete.
A running back that can come in and physically and mentally compete for playing right away. Pairing a physical kid with Diggs’ skillset with 2020 signee Chris Tyree, the Notre Dame staff will be really happy with their backfield for the next several seasons.
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