DiFranco is primarily a TE and is being recruited as a TE, but he also sees time at on the defensive side of the ball at the DE position. He has great TE size at 6'4", 264 lbs and had 15 receptions last season averaging 21 yards per catch. He also scored 4 touchdowns and had four 2-point conversions. Defensively, DiFranco recorded 35 tackles (10 solo), 5.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. He earned 1st team county, conference, district, and honorable mention All-State honors for his performance at TE.
"I'm a guy that likes to be in on every play, and I'm really intense out there," explains DiFranco. "I like hitting – on defense or offense – it doesn't matter." DiFranco is an explosive player when it comes to blocking and down blocking, and he is good off his first step.
DiFranco's only Achilles heel right now is his speed. He has good speed with a 4.9 forty, but it could be better. "Big time tight ends in college are running 4.6s – if I could get that down I would be set. I usually run a 4.9/5.0. I have been doing cone drills and jump roping along with drills with my team to improve my speed," explains DiFranco.
Midview made it to the playoffs last season, but was ousted by Nordonia in the first round and eventually played in the state championship game. Midview has a lot of returning starters, and with a new approach to utilizing the TE position, DiFranco is looking forward to doing his part to lead the Midview Middies to a state championship.
"This year, Coach Albright is going to split me out on the goal line and use my size to an advantage," explains DiFranco. "When we are at the red zone he'll use me as a receiver and throw the ball up, throw slants and use me as a flop back or an "H" back. He is going to get me involved more, which is nice."
DiFranco went to the Ohio State camp but was unable to participate because he injured his knee in a practice scrimmage the night before camp. "I collided knees with another player and it got all swollen up and bruised. I could barely walk the next day." This injury is nothing serious, and DiFranco will be fine for the 2003 season.
Despite the injury, DiFranco went to camp and sat in on the drills. "I went down and explained why I couldn't play and the coaches seemed happy that I came down anyway," says DiFranco. "They taught us some good moves on how to break free on some of the routes. The LBs were pressuring on the line and the coaches gave us some good techniques on ripping off – like the outside swim move."
DiFranco really liked the Buckeye coaching staff for the way they treat players and their understanding of his injury. "I liked the TE coach (Bill Conley) and Coach Bollman (offensive coordinator/ offensive line). They were real personal with the players and really worked with us and treated us like we were part of the team that day."
Since he is mostly hearing from schools with smaller programs right now, DiFranco is hoping to come out this season and have some good games so he can get film out and get offers from the bigger programs, especially from the Buckeyes.
As for what position DiFranco will eventually play in college, it all depends. TE is the more likely position, but DE shouldn't be ruled out because it all hinges on how he grows as a player. Besides, DiFranco explains, "I love rushing the passer off the end."
DiFranco also plays basketball and track for Midview and has started at center on the hardwood for the Middies since his freshman year and throws the discus and shot put for the tack team. He will play all three of these sports again this school year, and he performs well in the classroom with a 3.3 GPA.
With a new approach to the TE position, DiFranco is in place to have a break-through season and gain the attention he deserves from the bigger Division I program. "I will bring hard work and loyalty to the program and to the weight room to whichever school I end up going to."