Ironically, Diehl returns to play in the Big Ten, after playing in the "Big Ten" in high school for Troy high school, where he led Troy to a Big Ten Championship, and a berth in the 2003 Class AA Superbowl in 2003. That year he had 86 tackles (33-solo, 53-assists) and 12 sacks as a defensive tackle. That year he earned Big 10 Defensive Player Of The Year Honors.
In 2004 he proved to be a disruptive force again for Troy, getting 74 tackles (36-solo, 38- assisted tackles), including 11 tackles, 11 quarterback hurries, and four forced fumbles.
Diehl then made the wise choice of picking Milford Academy in New Berlin as his prep school over Hudson Academy. "If I went to Hudson Valley, I would have lost two years of eligibility to play," Diehl told the Albany Times Union. "By going to Milford, I have been able to keep my eligibility and improve my grades. So far, it has worked out well for me."
Diehl really improved his stock with a summer All-Star game, and the spring combine at Milford at the time. Jason became an outstanding guard and captain for Milford, and he gives credit for his improvement to another highly sought after recruit, teammate Marques Slocum.
"It helps when you practice against a guy like like Marques Slocum everyday. I feel I have improved technique wise. I'm in much better shape. I feel I'm quicker, faster, and stronger. I dropped about 25-30 pounds since I've been here."
I was able to talk to Marques Slocum to get his thoughts on Diehl. "If I had to pick one word to describe Jason it would be 'dedication'. He's dedicated to getting better, and he's dedicated to the weight room."
What about Diehl saying he got a lot better going against you in practice everyday? "Hey, I got a lot better practicing against him everyday as well," admitted Slocum.
That dedication got Diehl's bench press up to 510 pounds, and his forty time down to an impressive 4.9. His dedication also led directly to offers from Miami (FL), West Virginia,Pittsburgh, Mississippi, Iowa, and Illinois.
"I finally believe my dreams are becoming real," said Diehl. "I have been recruited by Michigan State for three years. They really liked my strength. I would like to go in January to play spring ball and to learn the techniques and plays at the Division I level." Diehl said he plans to major in agricultural landscaping while at MSU.
So this led to the obvious question, is Marques Slocum still solid with Michigan or would he consider following his buddy to MSU?
"I'm still committed to UM," stated Slocum. "I could have 'propped' at a lot of schools, but I''ve always like UM since I was young, hopefully I can play for a National Championship in a couple of years if I can get these test scores."
"I just took the S.A.T., and they (Milford) called tonight (Dec.27th) and they said the scores would be on the internet, but I'm going to wait until tommorrow to look at them. I think I would have done better on the A.C.T, but my prep school told me they only prep people for the S.A.T."
"I'm going to wait as long as I can, probably until June until I have to decide to do something else, like go the JUCO route or whatever. I won't be coming back to prep school, but the plan is to get the test scores and go to UM."
So did Jason ever try to get his buddy to come to MSU? "Nothing real serious, he would talk about Coach Stoutland, or 'did you see how big Roland Martin is?', but nothing serious. Actually, I tried to tell the UM coaches about Jason."
"I do think he feed off my official visit to MSU," added Slocum. "I told him how I was feeling Michigan State. Mike Bazemore went to my high school, and I was impressed, it was the summertime, and I came back and told the coaches I was ready to commit to go to MSU, but they told me that was my first visit and to take other visits to compare."
"Then I took my official visit to Michigan and it wasn't mind-blowing, they just seemed stronger in the field I wanted to study, which is computer animation."
"I felt MSU had the better tutoring program, but no matter where you go they have tutoring. Iowa, Notre Dame, Miami, they all have tutoring, so it's not a concern," concluded Slocum.
My take is that MSU really needs a road grader like Diehl in the worst way. He can control his man at the point of attack with his strength, and his strength could lead to early playing time. Also, he has the skill to obviously play along the defensive line. Being a captain at Milford shows his leadership skills.
Also, being a future agricultural major won't hurt, he can tell future opponents which type of grass they are eating as he pancakes them to the ground.
(Bob Lichentfels from Scout.com contributed to this story).