Listed measurements: 6-foot, 200 pounds.
2021-22 year, eligibility: The one class on Notre Dame’s roster with clear eligibility parameters, Diggs has four seasons of eligibility remaining and will keep that tally as long as he appears in no more than four games this year.
Depth Chart: The less-heralded of the two incoming freshman running backs behind consensus four-star Audric Estime, Diggs will be no higher than fourth among the Irish running backs this season, behind junior Kyren Williams, sophomore Chris Tyree and senior C’Bo Flemister. That trio covers all aspects of the running game, so no specific situational work should await Diggs, either.
Recruiting: The only Notre Dame signee this past February rather than ink during December’s early signing period, the consensus three-star recruit and No. 19 running back in the class, per rivals.com, considered his homestate LSU down to the wire. A longtime Irish commit, Diggs had been the sole running back in the class until Estime’s December flip, and combining that with his primary recruiter — safeties coach Terry Joseph, a New Orleans native — taking a job at Texas, suddenly Diggs had reasons to waver.
In the end, though, he held firm. In winning the Class 5A title in Louisiana, Diggs was named the all-state Outstanding Offensive Player.
NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS
WHY NO. 22?
Despite wearing No. 3 in high school, see the above photos.
Despite that recruiting wait and debate, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly did not worry. Take that for what you will.
“We anticipate to bring in two more running backs in this class,” Kelly said to start the December signing period, despite not having signed a single running back on the opening and primary day of the early signing period. (Estime flipped from Michigan State later in the week.) “Within this class, we expect to sign a couple more running backs, and we expect to sign somebody that is going to help us in the back end of the defense, as well.”
To some degree, the Irish knew to expect Diggs, Estime and former LSU commit safety Khari Gee.
WHAT WAS SAID WHEN DIGGS SIGNED
“Diggs will work as an all-around back, assuming he develops in the passing game, both blocking and receiving. He has shown decent hands, but that aspect of the game needs universal development in preps running backs.
“Highlight reels are hand-selected with a purpose in mind, but the first three clips of Diggs’ (below) include choosing to meet a head-on tackle with full force, a hurdle and a breakaway touchdown. On some level, he has all the natural tools needed to be a starting running back at the next level.
Every new photo of Estime makes him look like a college senior rather than an incoming freshman, and that physicality alone may bump Diggs to fifth on the depth chart. While the Irish should blow out two of their first three opponents and games against Navy have increasingly gotten out of hand in recent years, there may be only so much mop-up duty available for Diggs. Last year, those were opportunities to get Flemister work and he excelled in chewing away those games.
That may mean Diggs works entirely on scout team this season, but getting that work in and adding a bit of muscle will only benefit him in the long run.
DOWN THE ROAD
Opportunities will come in the long run. Williams will head to the NFL after this season, barring injury, and both Tyree and Flemister should be gone no later than the end of 2022.
That will leave Estime and Diggs in 2023, and a running back rotation is vital to health. They will be running behind the likes of left tackle Blake Fisher, by then perhaps a three-year starter, and Rocco Spindler, only not starting as a freshman this season because of an All-American transfer. Current junior center Zeke Correll could even still be around as a fifth-year center in his fourth season of starting.
Whoever is lucky enough to carry the football for Notre Dame in 2023 should be doing so behind an offensive line to be thankful for.
The Notre Dame brotherhood is adding another member to the #NDRBs.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) February 3, 2021
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
Let’s try this again
No. 99 Rylie Mills, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 98 Alexander Ehrensberger, sophomore defensive end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, early-enrolled freshman defensive tackle the size of a Volkswagen
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, fifth-year defensive tackle-turned-end
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, early-enrolled freshman tight end, a former high school quarterback
No. 87 Michael Mayer, star sophomore tight end and lead offensive weapon
No. 85 George Takacs, senior tight end, ‘152 years old’
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, sophomore tight end
No. 82 Xavier Watts, sophomore receiver
No. 81 Jay Brunelle, speedy sophomore receiver
No. 80 Cane Berrong, early-enrolled freshman tight end
No. 79 Tosh Baker, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 78 Pat Coogan, incoming freshman center
No. 77 Quinn Carroll, junior offensive lineman
No. 76 Joe Alt, incoming and towering freshman offensive lineman
No. 75 Josh Lugg, fifth-year right tackle, finally a starter
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, junior offensive tackle, possible backup center
No. 72 Caleb Johnson, early-enrolled offensive tackle, former Auburn commit
No. 70 Hunter Spears, junior offensive guard, former defensive tackle
No. 68 Michael Carmody, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 62 Marshall guard Cain Madden transfers to Notre Dame, likely 2021 starter
No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, senior defensive tackle
No. 56 John Dirksen, senior reserve offensive lineman
No. 56 Howard Cross, junior defensive tackle
No. 55 Jarrett Patterson, the best Irish offensive lineman
No. 54 Jacob Lacey, junior defensive tackle
No. 54 Blake Fisher, early-enrolled freshman left tackle, starter?
No. 52 Zeke Correll, junior, starting center
No. 52 Bo Bauer, senior linebacker, #BeADog
No. 50 Rocco Spindler, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard
No. 48 Will Schweitzer, early-enrolled freshman defensive end
No. 44 Devin Aupiu, early-enrolled freshman defensive end
No. 44 Alex Peitsch and No. 65 Michael Vinson, Irish long snappers, both needed
No. 41 Kurt Hinish, fifth-year defensive tackle, eventual record-holder in games played
No. 40 Drew White, fifth-year linebacker, three-year starter
No. 39 Jonathan Doerer, fifth-year kicker, using the pandemic exception
No. 38 Jason Onye, incoming and raw freshman defensive end
No. 37 Joshua Bryan, incoming freshman kicker
No. 35 Marist Liufau, junior Hawaiian linebacker
No. 34 Osita Ekwonu, junior defensive end
No. 33 Shayne Simon, senior linebacker
No. 29 Matt Salerno, senior punt returner, walk-on
No. 28 TaRiq Bracy, senior cornerback, possible nickel back
No. 27 JD Bertrand, junior linebacker
No. 26 Clarence Lewis, sophomore cornerback, second-year starter
No. 25 Philip Riley, early-enrolled freshman cornerback
No. 25 Chris Tyree, speedy sophomore running back
No. 24 Jack Kiser, junior linebacker, onetime pandemic hero
No. 23 Litchfield Ajavon, junior safety
No. 23 Kyren Williams, junior running back