Senior cornerback Quandre Diggs isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Whether it’s giving advice to teammates or talking smack to opponents, Diggs rarely misses a chance to say what he’s thinking. It’s one of the biggest reasons he’s regarded as one of the most prominent leaders in the Texas locker room.
It’s also one of the biggest reasons why he has quickly bonded with his new coaching staff.
“It’s helped me because I can relate to [head coach Charlie Strong],” Diggs said. “I relate to him a lot. I can talk to those guys, all of our coaches, for 45 minutes. I can just go up there and speak my mind to tell them what I like and what I don’t like. Most of the time they don’t listen to the stuff I don’t like, but, oh well, I’m still going to tell them.”
Diggs believes that this regular communication with Strong benefits the whole roster, as he frequently relays his coach’s messages to his teammates.
“I can get something from Coach Strong and go back down into the locker room and tell those guys,” Diggs said. “The guys know that I’m not going to lie to them. They know I’ll tell them exactly what he said, and it’s up to me to help them get something done or they get in trouble by him.”
Of course, Diggs serves as far more than just the team’s vocal leader. He’s one of Texas’ most accomplished and dynamic players, and now, entering his senior season, the cornerback appears primed for another stellar campaign.
Diggs enters the season on the watch list for the 2014 Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive back each season. He’s coming off of an impressive 2013 season that saw him record 58 tackles while leading Texas with 10 pass breakups.
Right now, though, the senior cornerback is far more concerned with Saturday’s season opener against North Texas than he is with postseason awards. Diggs said his first offseason under Strong was physically demanding, and he’s ready to finally put everything he’s accomplished since the end of last season to the test.
“It’s going to be fun,” Diggs said. “Camp was grueling; camp was tough. It was waking up each and every morning and knowing you’re going in for a grind each and every day when you wake up. … It’ll be fun on Saturday, and I’m just ready to go out there and compete.”
While Diggs believes the Longhorns should be a tougher bunch after the recent offseason, he thinks the biggest thing that Strong has taught the Longhorn players is how to combine hard work with having fun in practice.
“I think we’re just having more fun,” Diggs said. “You know, a lot of guys being themselves, just going out and competing each and every day. When you make plays at practice, you can celebrate; you can talk trash; you can do all that. That’s important for a team just to be able to be themselves, loosen up all the time, just go run around, have fun and play football.”
For Diggs, the new season is likely to give him plenty of opportunity to speak his mind, to rally his teammates and disrupt his opponents. Of course, the senior cornerback hopes that it’s his play on the field that speaks the loudest.