Three of the nation's top 10 recruits, Dorial Green-Beckham, Darius Hamilton and Stefon Diggs have become high school sensations. The former set the national career receiving record, while the latter two combined for seven state titles. All three remain uncommitted and plan to declare closer to National Signing Day.Read More Below
As far as high school athletes go, few are more accomplished than Dorial Green-Beckham, Darius Hamilton and Stefon Diggs. Rivals' first, fifth and eighth ranked prospects, respectively, they've dominated overmatched competition, elevating to household names in many regions. Green-Beckham snapped the all-time receiving record with 6,356 yards at Hillcrest (Mo.), while Hamilton and Diggs combined for seven state titles during their legendary careers at Good Counsel (Md.) and Don Bosco Prep (N.J.). Their success has been recognized: All three were named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 7.
As the game draws nearer, though, it's become clear that success doesn't come without a price. All three have become the subject of widespread media attention -- and rampant recruiting speculation.
"You're always being watched," said Diggs. "You have to watch what you do."
The hype isn't unwarranted. Throughout their prolific tenures, the highly touted trio has been nothing short of spectacular. Green-Beckham and Diggs established themselves as the nation's top wideouts -- combining for 3,041 yards and 37 touchdowns as seniors -- while Hamilton emerged as a precocious pass-rusher. After compiling 63 tackles and 13.5 sacks in 2010, he racked up 72 and 21 in '11, leading the Ironmen to their third consecutive perfect season.
Their feats have earned countless scholarships, numerous accolades and legions of devoted followers. But there's also been a catch. It's brought incessant pressure to commit to one of dozens of BCS programs.
"Every second there's somebody trying to tell you what school to go to," said Green-Beckham. "It's all the time."
During the U.S. Army Player of the Year tour in December, the standouts bonded over their common experience. They swapped stories and compared interactions with various coaches and programs. They also came to a striking realization. "We're all going through this experience that a lot of people don't get to go through," said Diggs. "We just gotta enjoy it."
As the National Signing Day creeps closer, coverage will only increase. Green-Beckham favors Arkansas and Oklahoma, while Hamilton is debating between Florida, Cal and Rutgers. Diggs remains a recruiting enigma, considering Auburn, Virginia and Notre Dame, among others. All three could make immediate impacts as freshmen.
This much is certain: Wherever they end up, they'll dominate local headlines. But the BCS stage won't faze them. Coming off nationally renowned prep careers, they know to handle the spotlight.
"[The attention] definitely gets you prepared for life if this is what you want to continue doing," said Hamilton. "Through this whole thing, just try to stay humble. Don't let it change you."