Back from injury, Norwin's Anthony DelleFemine eager for Robert Morris football
After what he calls, “The longest year of my life,” Anthony DelleFemine is ready to restart his college football career.
The process was delayed last June when he had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. But months of rehab, determination and soul-searching have the former Norwin standout wide receiver and cornerback pumped for a comeback at Robert Morris.
He received a medical redshirt last season and in the fall will be a freshman.
“I am cleared of everything and have been doing everything at full speed now,” DelleFemine said. “This definitely has been the most challenging thing I have experienced.”
DelleFemine never has been one to lack confidence. His emotions spill over on the football field the way they did on the basketball court: fist-pumps and skips down the sidelines give away how he feels about big plays, and he often urges the fans to join in as he waves them on — pure, unbridled emotion.
DelleFemine’s injury only serves as motivation, a setback that will make his next on-field celebration that much more satisfying.
“I believe this entire process has just taught me to never give up, regardless of how tough the situation may be,” he said. “You’re going to get knocked down sometimes, but its up to you to stand back up taller than you ever have before.”
Friends and fans want to see what “AD” can do at the next level, and there are many of them. His tweet to announce his commitment to Robert Morris picked up 435 likes.
His offseason build-up to another rookie season was elevated by his work with FSQ Training in Level Green. Trusted personal trainers Tim Cortazzo and Chris Rasky might be graduates of rival Penn-Trafford, but DelleFemine said both played key roles in his return. He also mentioned Dave Loya, an East Allegheny assistant, with whom he also trained.
“Those three have helped me tremendously to get back stronger and better than ever before,” he said.
DelleFemine (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) was recruited as a wide receiver.
“He’s really bought in to the weight room, eating better, taking care of his body,” Cortazzo said. “He has probably put on around 20 pounds since last year. I have been training ‘AD’ since he was in middle school, and he was always so busy with multiple sports. Now that he’s focused on football, he eats, sleeps and breathes it every day. Always at FSQ, always perfecting his craft at the field. Really excited to watch him progress at RMU.”
DelleFemine had 41 receptions for 816 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior at Norwin and made the Class 6A Southeastern Conference first team. He knows the knee injury set back his progress and could delay his initial impact with the Colonials, but he is willing to watch and learn, wait and listen, until his number is called.
“My goal and top priority is to go into camp and compete for a starting position at receiver and to help my team have success in every way possible this season,” he said. ” I am more than ready for anything that is thrown my way and I envision my freshman year as a success.”
Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BillBeckner.