One mid-state prospect that is having a breakout senior season this fall is Franklin Road Academy (Tenn.) product Eric Stoxstill-Diggs.
"This season has been going well," Stoxstill-Diggs said. "I have a little over a thousand yards passing with nine touchdowns and a little over 500 yards rushing with eight touchdowns. Defensively, I have 38 tackles and one interception and a forced fumble."
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect overcame a bad knee and ankle injury a couple of seasons ago and was back in action last year but struggled running a wing-T offense that didn't showcase his overall skills.
This season, FRA has a new offense scheme and Stoxstill-Diggs is running it to perfection.
"This past offseason we changed our offense to a spread offense with a lot of (run-pass-options). Last year, I was struggling in the passing game because I didn’t know how to read coverages well, so I spent all offseason studying coverages with my coach, Bill Whittemore, and learning what to look for in terms of reads with each coverage. That has slowed the game down a lot for me this year because now I know what to look for on each play.
"With me running, we ran Wing-T last year, which wasn’t really for a running quarterback, but with the change in our offense and read option, it has allowed me to use my legs as well this season. I also spent a lot of time in the weight room this offseason and I have put on 10 pounds of muscle since last year, and this past track season my track coach focused a lot on speed training which has helped me get faster."
At the end of July, the in-state prospect verbally committed to Cornell. However, his success this fall is also piquing the interest from the Vanderbilt Commodores.
"I’ve heard from a couple of their recruiting assistants recently but not any of their staff yet. They’ve told me that I’ve been looking really good so far this season and that they would make sure the coaches got my film."
Stoxstill-Diggs was recently at Vanderbilt on an unofficial visit and fell in love the coaching staff and the overall atmosphere on West End.
"I went on an unofficial visit when they played Kansas State. I loved how the coaches weren’t just asking about football but also how I was as a person, and they stressed about how they care about being balanced in all areas of life: in the classroom, community, and on the field."
"I also could sense a different feel about this Vandy team because as a Tennessee kid I keep up with them and UT and this Vandy team has a great foundation set. With the game I loved how the stands were packed and the fans were heavily involved. I could definitely feel and see the difference between the Ivy League and SEC. The energy and passion were contagious. I loved how the players were playing selflessly as well."
If the Vanderbilt interest materialized into an offer it would definitely be a game changer for the talented senior.
"For me academics comes first and Vandy is a great academic school. Then also being able to play close to home so my family can come out and support would be nice, and unlike the Ivy League, an offer from them would be a full scholarship which would allow my parents to focus more of their money on my two younger brothers college funds."
Stoxstill-Diggs is also excited to see where his newfound success on the field could lead him in his recruiting process.
"Cornell sees me playing safety for them. However, I am in the process of reopening my recruiting options because I have much better film this year and I would prefer to play on the offensive side of the ball, but I can play on the defensive side just as easily."