Heating Things Up: Hiring Adam DiMichele

Every once in a while, Temple coach Geoff Collins does something that makes you think he gets his surroundings.

Hiring Adam DiMichele certainly qualifies with one of those somethings.

DiMichele is now the “recruiting coordinator” and the 10th fulltime assistant as allowed by the NCAA as of last Tuesday.

Hey, he could have hired another Coastal Carolina guy.

DiMichele kicks McNabb's butt

Adam as a Philadelphia Eagle (hey, they still need a backup to Sudfeld)

I’m not so provincial that I believe Collins should hire all Temple guys to coach at Temple but, with Adam, I’ve got a soft spot.

Including P.J. Walker, Steve Joachim, Matty Baker, Tim Riordan, Henry Burris and Lee Saltz, Adam DiMichele is my favorite Temple quarterback of all time.

Notice I wrote “favorite” and not “best.”

Favorite is because he was the conduit between a lot of bad years and a lot of good ones.

Sitting at Franklin Field right behind the late, great Peter “Doc” Chodoff watching Temple get waxed during the Dark Ages that culminated in a 20-game losing streak, Doc turned to me and said, “Mike, why does every other team have a better quarterback than Temple?”

“I’ve always said the same thing. Seems like it’s been that way forever, Doc. I don’t know.”
Doc Chodoff got a field named after him a few years later, right around the time  I got my quarterback who was better than the bad guy’s quarterback.

His name was Adam DiMichele.

DiMichele was the bridge between the 20-game losing streak and what Temple football is today. Had not Buffalo completed an inexplicable “Hail Mary” pass, he would have led the Owls to a bowl game in 2008.

Had not Joe Paterno denied him a transfer waiver, DiMichele—not Chester Stewart nor Vaughn Charlton—would have been the quarterback in the 2009 Eagle Bank Bowl and there is no doubt in my mind he would be the difference.

DiMichele was part of a lot of great plays while at Temple, my favorite being the “fake knee down” against Navy in the 2008 season. Temple looked like it was going to run out the clock but DiMichele feigned the knee and pulled it up just before it hit the ground and found Bruce Francis 30 yards behind the nearest defensive back. Francis walked in but the Owls lost that game, 33-27, in overtime. The year prior, DiMichele flipped the ball back to D’yonne Crudup on a double-reverse and Crudup tried to hit him in the end zone for a game-winning TD against UConn, but DiMichele tipped the ball to Francis, who caught it but it was ruled a non-catch.

DiMichele was always the quarterback of a fullback-oriented offense that head coach Al Golden and offensive coordinator George DeLeone believed in and was the beneficiary of a strong running game that set up great play-action passing. Hopefully, Adam will have enough influence on Dave Patenaude to go away from Coastal Carolina Soft back to Temple TUFF. If anyone can convince Patenaude to put Nitro back there leading the way for Rock and David Hood, it’s Adam DiMichele.

More than that, though, he’s got to convince Collins and, by getting hired, he’s at least halfway there.

Monday: The 2018 Power 5 Opponents


Best QB Prospect in Pa.? He’s Going to Play in Philly

A great quarterback prospect is like the famous Potter Stewart quote about pornography: “It’s hard to define, but I know it when I see it” he said in the case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, 1964.

The Supreme Court Justice went to Yale, so he was around when Brian Dowling was throwing around the pigskin for the Bulldogs. Being a smart man, he probably also know great quarterbacking when he sees it. So do most of us. I knew Adam DiMichele had “it” the first game I saw him in a Temple uniform. I also knew whatever Chester Stewart had wasn’t it in his first game, a 7-3 loss to Western Michigan on a dreadful day at Lincoln Financial Field.

Ben DiNucci after winning WPIAL Class AAAA championship for Pine-Richland.

Ben DiNucci after winning WPIAL Class AAAA championship for Pine-Richland.

Trust me on this one: Pine-Richland’s Ben DiNucci has “it.” He will go down as the most productive quarterback of the next four years on the college level Pennsylvania, too, including whomever Temple, Pitt or Penn State recruit. The 6-3, 190-pound Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year became the first Pennsylvania player to throw for more than 4,000 yards, setting a PIAA record for single-season passing with 4,269. DiNucci was 32 of 46 for 383 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-41 loss to St. Joseph’s Prep in the Class AAAA title game Saturday night. DiNucci also set a PIAA playoff record with his 32 completions and a championship game record with 383 yards passing. His four touchdown passes tied Berwick’s Ron Powlus (1992) for the most in a championship game.

More than all of those records, though, he possesses the elusive “it” factor in quarterbacks that make or break coaches. Forget that he wasn’t offered by the big schools. Big schools often miss big players. Ask Marty Ginestra. Or Henry Burris. Or Brian Broomell. Or Matty Baker. Or Tim Riordan. DiNucci falls into the category of a very good quarterback who can be very productive for Temple.

Some people have a better “it” radar than others. Al Golden’s Achilles’ heel was not having a good quarterback GPS installed (he inherited ADM from Bobby Wallace). To borrow a Potter (not Chester)  Stewart term, the jury is still out on Matt Rhule’s quarterback radar.

Trust me with this one, though: Ben DiNucci will be a great college quarterback at any level and the good news that he has chosen to play his college football in Philadelphia. The bad news is that it will be at Penn.

DiMichele currently is spending the weekend recruiting in the Pittsburgh area. If he’s smart, he would swing by Pine-Richland to investigate the level of interest DiNucci has playing the game at its highest level in the same city for Temple. If Temple is smart, it would offer him a scholarship now.