Monday, December 08, 2008

Adam DiMichele: We may never see his like again

Adam DiMichele will be missed by all Temple fans.

By Mike Gibson
OK, I'll be the first to admit it.
I've been spoiled for the past three years.
I've never once wished for a quarterback change at Temple University when No. 13 was on the field.
The thought never even entered my head.
Not once.

It's hard to
put your
finger on
it, but I
knew from
the first time
I saw Adam
in a Temple
uniform that
he was the
perfect quarterback
for me and my team.
"I love that kid," I said to my friend, Mark, during the 28-14 win over Bowling Green three years ago.
"You have to," Mark said. "Who wouldn't love Adam DiMichele?"
Nothing kinky, mind you, but I love him as a (very) older brother or as a proud father.
Quarterback is a very strange position.
You either have it or you don't.
It's hard to put your finger on it, but I knew from the first time I saw Adam DiMichele in a Temple uniform that he was the perfect quarterback for me and my team.
He had all the qualities I ever wanted in a quarterback:
Overlaping skills like moxie, determination, leadership?
Check, check, check.
Athleticism, escapability?
Check, check.
I made the list in my head and could put an emphatic checkmark next to each wonderful quality under Adam DiMichele's name.
Check, check, check, check, check.
I slumped back in my seat. All these years of asking why the other team always had a better quarterback than Temple were over.
I slumped back in my seat. All these years of asking why the other team always had a better quarterback than Temple were over.
There were other problems, but I was always confident in my quarterback.
For sure, there were similar stretches in other years, like when Walter Washington came or Henry Burris was here but not three years like this.
I don't remember ever having three years of this level of confidence in the leader on the field.
I knew those days would be over once and now they are.
I don't have that same level of confidence anymore.
I don't know if I ever will.
I've never yelled from my seat in the stands for some kid to be pulled from the game, but I will admit I thought a few times it might be a better idea for Chester Stewart to sit and watch the Homecoming Day game from the bench and let Vaughn Charlton have a shot.
After the 7-3 loss to Western Michigan and after Stewart missed a wide-open Bruce Francis by 10 yards for what would have been a third time, I saw enough.
As I walked into the concourse, the first person I saw was Vaughn Charlton.
Not the kid, the dad.
"They should have burned the redshirt," I said.
Stats of Temple quarterbacks in their last high school season:
Adam DiMichele, Sto-Rox _ 2,706 yards and 36 touchdown passes.
Vaughn Charlton, Avon Grove _ 1,337 yards, 9 touchdown passes.
Chester Stewart, DeMatha _ 1,348 yards, 17 touchdown passes.
Mark Giubilato, St. Joseph's Prep _ 1,008 yards, 49-129 in 12 games, 38 percent completion rate, 7 touchdown passes.
Stats of Garrett Barnas in his last full JUCO season:
238 completions in 437 attempts, 24 touchdowns, 867 yards rushing, 4.45-40 speed
Stats of Stanley Jennings in his last full JUCO season:
63 for 125, 14 touchdowns, in eight games, 739 rushing yards, for the 6-3, 210 former all-state basketball player in Marietta, Ga.

I wasn't looking for a response nor did I get one. I just walked away, knowing that a precious game was frittered away.
The most important position on the field is quarterback and I would have liked to see how a year older and wiser Vaughn Charlton would have responded to the challenge at a time his team needed him the most, after DiMichele went down.
I didn't see it. All I know is that, right now, I can't picture either Vaughn Charlton or Chester Stewart throwing six touchdowns in a game, like Adam DiMichele did two weeks ago.
I don't know if either one of them has the qualities down the line that Adam DiMichele does.
I hope they do, but hope doesn't get me to a bowl game.
That's why an argument can be made for getting a big-time JUCO All-American quarterback in here, a guy with DiMichele's arm and his mobility.
Really, there's no argument to be made.
What would it hurt to get a polished guy in here who can throw and run, even for depth, even as a stopgap until a recruit can develop?
The answer is that it would hurt nothing.
If the protection breaks down on a third-and-8, can either Charlton or Stewart get me first downs like DiMichele did on a fairly regular basis?
Right now, the answer would be no.
So Temple coach Al Golden would be wise, at least in my mind, to purchase an insurance policy in the form of getting a JUCO in here who has a proven ability to both throw and run, a guy like Garrett Barnas of Harper (Illinois) or Stanley Jennings of Dean (Mass.).
The roster is really down to two quarterbacks right now and the one signed freshman, Mark Giubilato of St. Joseph's Prep, is a project who is at least two years away. Giubilato's stats this season: Twelve games, 49 completions in 129 attempts for 84 yards a game and seven touchdowns. That ranks Giubilato 19th in the passing leaders of just the three city leagues, Public, Catholic and Inter-Ac and behind 10 quarterbacks in the Catholic League alone.
On the other hand, DiMichele came to Temple as the WPIAL's all-time passing leader and, in his senior year alone at Sto-Rox, tossed 36 touchdown passes for 2,706 yards.
Charlton's senior year at Avon Grove?
Nine TD passes, 1,337 yards.
Stewart's senior high school numbers were slightly better than Charlton's but not half as good as DiMichele's: 72 for 134, 1,348 yards and 17 touchdowns.
What was that coach Bill Parcells said?
"You are what your record says you are."
Well, with quarterbacks, you pretty much are what your stats say you are.
Adam DiMichele proved that. So did every other previous great Temple quarterback.
None of them came here and achieved at a high level without doing the same exact thing in high school or JUCO ball. Walter Washington (Jacksonville Mainland), Burris (Spiro, Okla.), Matty Baker (Central York), Brian Broomell (Sterling, N.J.) and Steve Joachim (Haverford High) and Doug Shobert (Central Bucks) were big-time high school superstars.
On the other hand, not one Temple quarterback became an All-American or even All-East performer after underachieving in high school.
Barnas and Jennings quarterbacked unbeaten JUCO teams to bowl bids with guady numbers. The fact that they were big-time winners in their previous spots speaks well of the kind of success they would expect here.
Barnas is a Syracuse commit.
That Temple can offer a realistic shot at playing time right away should be enough to entice them to come to the great Eastern school in a big media market.
Getting at least one of them in here would, at worst, push both Charlton and Stewart and create the kind of healthy competition and depth Temple desperately needs right now.


KageGamer said...

Charlton did the best possible job for the situation he was in at Avon Grove. They ran a Flex-Bone offense. He played in the Valor Bowl (Chester County all-star game) and was well respected by all opposing coaches.

I think Charlton's the future. Great character off the field often leads to great performance on the field.

Also, Mike, with Golden removing his name from the Syracuse search, do you think that signals at least one more year at Temple? Or do you think he's merely waiting for a better opportunity this offseason?

Temple Football Forever said...

He's an East-coast guy and there will be no other BCS openings on the East coast this offseason so he is here to stay.
He's a Jersey-Philly guy anyway and has said he has felt more at home with this job than any other place (Boston, Charlottesville) he's worked. Let's hope this job becomes comfortable as an old shoe for Al. I like Vaughn. I would have liked to have seen more of him THIS SEASON. I hate redshirting guys that you obviously needed to win now. But the past is the past. Onward and upward.

Anthony Lascio said...

DiMichele will be sorely missed. I wish him the best of luck in future endeavors, and anticipate seeing him on Sunday sfternoons. As for Vaughn? Not sold on him. Maybe I'm just spoiled on ADM, but Vaughn has a lot to prove to me. Nevertheless, I'll take him over Chester. Any day.

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Temple Football Forever said...

Most D1A programs (I'll still call it D1A) go five deep at QB. To go into 2009 only two deep is really disconcerning. If any position screams stopgap JUCO, it's QB at Temple these days.

Temple Football Forever said...

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Brian said...

With the news of Devlin leaving PSU and headed to Delaware, perhaps Al Golden should attempt a coup and try and get Pat to come to North Broad St. He can offer what Delaware can't... Stay in D1, play closer to home (Devlin is from Downingtown), and (most importantly) a chance to stick it to Joe Pa and the rest of the State Penn over the next three years!

Temple Football Forever said...

I wish, too. Unfortunately, the way the rules are written, Pat would have to sit out a year AND forfeit a year of eligibility if he transfers to a 1A like Temple, but would not have to sit out or forfeit a year if he went to Delaware.