- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
With a little more than a week before his planned announcement, Chicago Simeon lineman Jordan Diamond has dropped a team from his final five.
Diamond, ranked No. 94 in the ESPNU 150, no longer is considering Ohio State. He has a final four of Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan and Wisconsin, which he will officially visit this weekend.
An announcement will come with his teammate Robert Gregory on Feb. 3, two days after signing day. Diamond, ranked 10th nationally at his position, officially visited Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan and Arkansas already, in that order. His visit to Wisconsin beginning Friday will mark the third time he has been to Madison.
“Just being around the players, the coaches -- the new offensive line coach,” Diamond said, is what he is looking forward to most.
Diamond received a visit from new Badgers’ offensive line coach Mike Markuson on Wednesday, and Diamond said the two “bonded a little bit” during their first face-to-face meeting.
“He’s straight-forward, family guy,” Diamond said. “He always has a smile on his face.”
Having two visits to Madison already under his belt, Diamond, the No. 1 prospect in Illinois and top uncommitted prospect in the Midwest, already has been impressed with what Wisconsin has to offer.
"The fact that it's a city environment -– something I'm used to -– but it's also a college town," he said. "The game atmosphere is crazy, and I enjoyed that, too. The offense they run is what I’m looking for."
The Badgers, having suffered a decommitment from J.J. Denman on Monday and looking at possibly another from Kyle Dodson on signing day, are bringing in a number of offensive tackles this weekend. None are more important to the Badgers than Diamond, who has been arguably the Badgers’ top target for the last several weeks.
“They’re showing me a lot of love. The one thing about them is they’re consistent,” Diamond said of Wisconsin. “That’s a big thing.”
With eight days before his announcement next week, Diamond is not tipping his hand as to where he will end up.
“Comparing the schools, they’re about even,” Diamond said. “I really enjoyed myself on all my visits. I just got to pray on it.”
544dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert