Alexander Diamont’s upbringing couldn’t have possibly been much more Hollywood. His father Don spent 22 years as an actor on the soap opera, “The Young and the Restless,” and now appears on “The Bold and the Beautiful.” His father’s fame and his own movie-star look have helped him get a start in modeling. He’s even appeared in a soft-drink commercial.
But when the 6-foot-2, 175-pound quarterback from Los Angeles’s Venice High School was looking for a college, he wasn’t thinking Hollywood at all. He instead wanted the classic college town, and he found that at Indiana. After attending one of coach Kevin Wilson’s football camps in Bloomington on Tuesday, Diamont was extended an offer and immediately committed to become the third member of Indiana’s Class of 2014. He didn’t have another scholarship offer, but he picked the Hoosiers over interest from Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV and Washington State among other western schools.
“I like that Big Ten, Midwest vibe,” Diamont said. “The big school college town is exactly what I want. We don’t really have that in L.A. It’s not the same feel.”
Diamont actually knew months ago that IU was where he wanted to be, he said. He first visited in January, and even the experience of winter in Bloomington served as a selling point, because as he said, “we don’t have seasons out here.” Diamont was ready to commit then, but IU coach Kevin Wilson held back his offer until he finally got to see him throw at camp this week. He saw enough to feel confident bringing him into the fold.
“There is something that I felt the moment I stepped on campus that I still haven’t gotten over,” Diamont said. “I can’t stress that enough. It didn’t feel like a culture shock. I love L.A. and I’m going to live in L.A. eventually, but I want to do something different as a school experience… From the moment I went there, I fell in love with the place.”
It helps, of course, that the style of football and the coaching staff fit him as well. He said he got along excellently with Wilson as well as offensive coordinator Seth Littrell and quarterbacks coach Kevin Johns.
“Coach Wilson has that very intense head coach mentality,” Diamont said. “He’s a no-excuses kind of guy, and that’s the kind of guy I want to play for, someone who’s going to motivate me to get better every day.”
Wilson’s offense, an uptempo spread system, fits him as well. Indiana led the Big Ten in plays run per game last season (78.3) as well as passing offense (311.2 yards per game). The Hoosiers were also second in the conference in total offense (442.0 yards per game).
“They spread the field and they get the ball out fast,” Diamont said. “That’s the biggest thing. That’s exactly what my offense does right now, I like to hurt the defense, get the ball out fast and hit them where it hurts.
Diamont has been mostly effective in doing that in his time in Venice. Last season as a junior he threw for 2,977 yards and 31 touchdowns, earning Western League Offensive Player of the Year honors. He led Venice to the semifinals of the Los Angeles city section championship.
“Gets the ball out very quickly,” Venice coach Angelo Gasca said. “And his arm is getting a lot stronger. He’s probably added 10-20 yards of distance on his throws, so he’s gone from having a good arm to above average arm. As he grows and matures, his arm will be more of a plus, and he’s also very athletic. He has great escapability and good pocket awareness. He’s a good playmaker when he gets outside with the ball. He makes plays. But primarily he’s a very, very good passer. … I think he’s going to be one of the best quarterbacks in California as a senior, and that should make him one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”
The Hoosiers did not take a quarterback in this year’s class, so there should be some class separation between Tre Roberson, Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld — the three IU quarterbacks vying for the starting job this season, and Diamont. When he arrives, and especially if and when he gets the reins to the IU offense, that modeling career won’t be a distraction. That’s staying in L.A.
“It was never even a major part of my life,” Diamont said. “Simply speaking, I’m a football player first. It’s the same as with L.A., modeling isn’t going anywhere. It’s something I did for fun. I’m a football player, period.”