|School:||Sto-Rox HS, McKees Rocks, PA|
Adam DiMichele is wrapping up a great high school athletic career in which he was an all-star performer in football, baseball and basketball. In fact, Adam was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2002-2003 Athlete of the Year after his junior year. His high school performance and accolades, though, had not resulted in his getting a lot of attention as a quarterback prospect from major college recruiters due to his size. The lack of attention all became forgotten, though, when Adam was offered a scholarship to Penn State and committed early last week.
The DiMichele family visited Penn State on January 17 and 18. Adam was hosted by fellow Pittsburgher Vic Surma. The family had originally planned to return to Pittsburgh for a Saturday evening banquet at which Adam was being honored but ended up staying the entire weekend due to weather conditions. We spoke to DiMichele about a week ago and asked him about the events that led up to the scholarship offer.
He responded, "I got home Sunday. Coach Bradley came into town on Monday. Monday night we ate dinner. We sat down and we talked. He said we really want you up there. He told me I would go up there as a d-back. It was something I couldn't pass up." When did Penn State actually make the offer? "That night. Monday night while we were eating he told me. My parents were there and my brother."
Did Adam know the offer was coming?
"It wasn't out of the blue. I was hoping. I got the picture when I was up there that they might have wanted me to play a different position. If they weren't going to offer I was thinking maybe they wanted me to walk on. Coach Bradley has been high on me all along and he's the guy recruiting me. So he stuck on me I guess and got things done for me."
DiMichele was offered as a defensive back. There have been internet rumors that PSU was thinking of Adam for the cornerback position. We asked Adam about that and whether the coaches had been specific about whether he would play corner or safety.
"Somewhere in the secondary. Wherever they can use me since they're low on guys on scholarship in that position. Wherever I'm useful. Being a quarterback, I think safety. You have to be smart to play safety, but wherever they need me back there. I can play either position I think. Just get a little quicker and work from there."
There have been concerns about Adam's speed. The last time LionNews talked to Adam he told us he ran a 4.69. We asked him about his 40 time.
"To be honest, I haven't ran it since 10th grade. It was like 4.6 maybe, 4.63. I'm one of the faster guys on my team. We had 3 or 4 fast guys. I'm one of the fastest ones."
What did Penn State like about Adam?
"He (Bradley) said that I'm a winner. I take that as a compliment. I've been successful my whole high school career. I've been on great teams that have had other great players. They like my leadership. I'm a leader on the field and off the field. They like my athleticism. He came to one of my basketball games to see how athletic I was and I think that really turned his head a little bit."
We heard that Adam put on a show in a basketball game the night after he committed, dunking over a much larger player.
"Yeah it was probably the best dunk I ever had. I dunked on this kid. He was like 6-5, 6-6. I had 22 points and it was the day after I committed and everyone was talking about it. It (the dunk) was like an exclamation point on the whole week."
We also asked Adam about his size.
He told us, "I'm between 6-0 and 6-1. A guy came in from Central Michigan last week and said with your shoes on you're 6-1½. He measured me right in the school. I only weigh 170 pounds. I think I can easily gain weight. I think I have the frame for it. Whenever you're up at Penn State or any big time school you're going to gain weight. I don't have much time to lift during high school."
Did the Penn State coaches talk to Adam at all about playing quarterback?
"I think they got the guy they want at quarterback right now. I'm going up as a d-back. Whatever happens, happens. If they need someone to fill in a void or injuries occur and they need someone to step in, I think I can do that. Right I'm going to concentrate on defensive back."
We asked Adam what he liked about Penn State.
He said, "The whole atmosphere. The stadium was absolutely amazing. I've never seen anything like it. I can just picture running through the little tunnel in front of that many people. The coaching staff is great. Coach Paterno is the best coach in college football history and I get a chance to play for him. I couldn't pass that up." Did he get a chance to talk to Joe Paterno over the weekend. "Yes sir. He doesn't talk much one on one with his recruits, he's more of a team-oriented guy. We talked a little bit. He talked about family. We're a similar family. He seemed like a great guy. I'm hoping to get to know him a little better. The atmosphere was great. The other coaches were great. And the players that were up there seemed to really enjoy it and seemed to like to play Penn State football."
Adam is also a highly sought-after baseball player. We asked him if he planned to play baseball at Penn State.
"The ideal situation is to be up there and play baseball and football. After my first year they said I can play baseball."