Off The Courts And To The Gridiron For Good

Miles Dieffenbach has just one shot left. It's his big serve.

The son of Pittsburgh's long-time tennis coach George Dieffenbach, Miles Dieffenbach played tennis his whole life.

"That's where I get all my lateral movement and quickness from, and agility, because I played all my life, but I outgrew the tennis body."

Dieffenbach certainly did.

Currently standing in at 6-foot-5, 285-pounds, Dieffenbach is one of the top offensive linemen in the state of Pennsylvania in the class-of-2010. He already holds an offer from Pittsburgh, and is also hearing from several other programs like Notre Dame, Penn State, Boston College, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland.

Born at 12 pounds, Dieffenbach was always a big kid. By the age of 14, his competitive tennis days were over.

"It pretty much got to a point where I was too involved with football and basketball," Dieffenbach said. "Tennis wasn't my first love, but I played it my whole life because it was always around."

Football is Dieffenbach's passion.

While tennis may have given Dieffenbach his agility and athleticism, having to always suit up with the older kids during peewee football played a huge part in his toughness.

"When I played peewee football in fifth grade, I had to move up and play with the eighth graders. I was always a bigger kid.

"I started on that team actually. That was a pretty cool thing to do, and I played varsity as a freshman."

At Fox Chapel Area Senior High, opposing coaches and players have regularly mistaken Dieffenbach as an older player. Last year they thought he was a junior, and this year they were sure they wouldn't have to worry about him anymore.

"Coming back for another year is really going to be big."

Dieffenbach played center as a sophomore. He moved to left tackle this past fall. During his prep career, he has played all three positions along the offensive line.

Several college coaches have come to visit the school, including former Notre Dame offensive line coach John Latina. They all have left impressed.

"They like my lateral movement and my ability to finish," Dieffenbach began. "When I'm going to block somebody, I'm aggressive, I'm going to put them on their back. I didn't allow one sack on offense."

With his father working at the university, Dieffenbach has become very familiar with Pittsburgh and the football coaching staff there.

"It's a good place," Dieffenbach stated. "I know I'm home there. Family there. But my options are definitely open as of now."

During the season, Dieffenbach took trips to Michigan State and Penn State for games. He will be in South Bend this weekend for Notre Dame's junior day.

"I really want to meet the coaches, meet the new offensive line coach," Dieffenbach said. He will also attend Boston College's junior day. "Get to know the place better and see if it's the right place for me. I like the prestige and the school and things like that.

"It's going to be nice to go up there and see what it's like."

Dieffenbach reports a 3.75 GPA. He can play all three offensive line positions, and would like to line up at the one that gets him on the field the fastest on the next level.

"It has to be a place where I feel at home," Dieffenbach said of what he's looking for. "Where the coaches are true. A place where I can play early, not sit the bench for three years and then only play as a senior. I want to play a big schedule, and have a chance to win a National Championship and play in BCS games." Top Stories