Gateway players mix it up with top WPIAL talent at Matt Rhule Football Camp
Jimmy Moore, a quarterback and wide receiver, will be a senior in the fall, and he is hoping for an increased role in the Gateway offense under new Gators head coach Donnie Militzer.
He and several of his Gateway teammates got a chance to sharpen their skills and see a familiar face at Sunday's Matt Rhule Football Camp at Penn Hills High School.
It was a chance for former Gateway head coach Terry Smith to get back to the area. The new Temple wide receivers coach joined new Owls head coach Matt Rhule and the other members of Rhule's staff as camp instructors for the more than 250 high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who worked out under sunny skies.
“It turned out to be a beautiful day, and the turnout for the camp was great,” Smith said.
“There was a lot of great talent on this field, a lot of kids with Division I offers and others looking for Division I offers. All the kids had an opportunity to shine in front of college coaches, and they left everything on the field.
“It was a great feeling to get on the field with the Gateway kids one more time. Those guys were out here performing. They did what the Gateway kids always do, and that's work hard and be productive.”
Players from schools all over the area attended the camp, including those from Fox Chapel, Penn Hills, Franklin Regional, Plum and Fox Chapel.
Full-time coaches from Division I, I-AA, II and III programs such as New Hampshire, Youngstown State, Slippery Rock, Geneva, Waynesburg and St. Francis (Pa.) also provided instruction.
“We have so much respect for the level of football that is played out here,” Rhule said.
“It was a chance to introduce ourselves to the players and get to know the area better.”
In addition to Smith, another local product, Sto-Rox graduate Adam DiMichele, is on the Temple staff. The former Owls quarterback is in his first year as a graduate assistant.
While at Sto-Rox, DiMichele broke several WPIAL passing records, and he earned first-team all-state honors in three sports.
Gateway senior Todd Jeter, who will graduate Thursday at Antimarino Stadium, will join the Temple football family this summer after signing a letter of intent with the Owls in February.
“We're really excited about Todd,” Rhule said.
“He's a tall and athletic player who hopefully can come in and help us right away. We're excited to get a pipeline established in this area.”
Jeter is gearing up for the Big 33 all-star football game between teams from Pennsylvania and Maryland set for June 15 in Hershey.
“He will represent Gateway well at the Big 33, and a week after that, he will come on campus and start his college career,” Smith said.
“We're really looking forward to getting him here. We feel he can contribute early.”
Temple also has received verbal commitments from Gateway rising seniors Delvon Randall, a wide receiver and defensive back, and Brenon Thrift, a linebacker.
Temple will open its season on Aug. 31 at Notre Dame. The game is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on NBC.
Smith is no stranger to playing at Notre Dame Stadium. As a wide receiver with Penn State, he was a part of Nittany Lion victories there.
In 1990, Smith caught a first-quarter touchdown pass as Penn State upset the top-ranked Irish, 24-21, in a Nov. 17 game in South Bend.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.