When looking into prospective schools, 2012 offensive lineman recruit Jordan Diamond takes tradition into account. So naturally, as two of the traditionally powerful offensive lines in the nation, both Wisconsin and Iowa have stood out to the Chicago Simeon product.
"I'm looking for a school that has great tradition," Diamond told BadgerBlitz.com Wednesday night. "One that gets out there in practice because that makes the games much easier. Quite frankly, Iowa and Wisconsin, those two schools have good lines every year.
"I want to look into those schools very hard."
Wisconsin is fresh off a season where its offensive line, led by All-Americans Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt, helped both James White and John Clay rush for over 1,000 yards. Montee Ball, UW's third-string tailback to start the season, finished just four yards shy of reaching the 1,000-yard mark.
Had he been able to reach the milestone, Wisconsin would have been the first school in NCAA history to have three 1000-yard rushers.
Iowa, though it finished a disappointing 7-5 in the regular season, also had success on the ground this year and has also historically featured a solid rushing attack. With alums such as Albert Young and Shonn Greene having an impact in the NFL, much of their success has to be attributed to their respective offensive lines.
Knowing that, Diamond was willing to take his feelings towards both those schools a step further and tab them the two front-runners.
"Yeah," Diamond said. "Right now, yeah."
At this juncture, while early in the process, Diamond, who plans to attend camps this summer including Ohio State's, has already received offers from a number of schools including Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. A number of other schools haven't offered yet but are still sending letters.
At 6-foot-6, 289 pounds, Diamond is a hot commodity already.
"Really, for me, every school is going to give me a great opportunity to get a great education," Diamond said. "That's going to play a huge role. They also have to be solid and have a consistent coaching staff. I want to be with the same coaching staff throughout all my years."
Diamond, who's being recruited by Chris Ash at Wisconsin, says he has a very favorable relationship with the defensive backs coach entering his second year on the UW coaching staff.
"We have a good relationship," Diamond said. "We have a strong vibe with every coach, but with coach Ash we have a good relationship right now."
Claiming to be a versatile threat, Diamond says he plans to evaluate all of the schools that have offered him and give them all an equal opportunity to impress him. But as was mentioned before, it seems as though UW and Iowa have some early separation.
Diamond intends to visit Iowa this weekend for its junior day festivities and hopes to set up a visit to Wisconsin sometime down the road. But as for right now, considering it's the off-season, Diamond is focused on making gains in the weight room.
"We're in football training right now," Diamond, who helped his team to an 11-1 season that ended abruptly in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, said. "I'm trying to teach some other guys some techniques to pick themselves up. Right now I'm just hitting the weight room hard and trying to get in the right condition. With the camps, I'm going to try to make it to a few camps this summer.
"But right now I'm hitting the weight room to prepare for the next level."
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