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October 28, 2014

Miles Diffenbach

THE MODERATOR:  We have senior guard, Miles Dieffenbach with us.

Q.  Miles, Coach was talking about getting back to a point where you're comfortable both physical and mental and getting those reps to see a point of comfort and confidence.  How far along that path do you feel you are and how much further do you need to go to get to that point?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  I feel pretty far along but there is no finite line where I'm ready, it's kind of just a thing where you get a feel for it.  I've been practicing for a couple weeks now and getting better every day and that's something I'm looking forward to.  When I know it will know.  It will be a family decision, team decision, and doctors.

Q.  Miles, can you talk about your dad being a college coach and a competitive athlete even now and his impact now?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  My dad has had a tremendous impact on the my life being a college coach, he grew me up that way.  Always with the coaching mentality but he's nurturing and loving and he's always kept a positive outlook on life and God has a plan for everything and it's been very influential.

Q.  What's it been like for you as a senior not being able to play, how difficult has that been and how much have you been able to feel a part of things being at practice and helping with leadership and now practicing the last couple of weeks?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  It's obviously the hardest thing not being out there with the guys, practicing and game day, but obviously kept a part of the program and helped lead guys, helped kind of develop our offensive line being out there on the field helping them and in the meeting room and on the practice field.

Q.  Going off that, Coach talked about how it's been difficult to lead not playing.  What are the hurdles with that not being on the field but having to step up and be a leader for this team?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  It's hard trying to really lead by example when you're not out there on the field, out there having tough practices with the guys and having a tough camp and going out there on game day and proving yourself.
They know what I've done in the past and they know what kind of guy I am.  I'm just trying to do my best to have my knowledge and lead them that way.

Q.¬† What we're coming up close to the end of the season so I'm curious, as far as your rehabbing and everything how that was going on.¬† Is that making you ‑‑ the light at the end of the tunnel with the games you have, does that make you want to practice harder, train harder or is it getting frustrating knowing that you're not on the field yet?¬† I'm curious if you will be able to start by that final game and how much you're looking forward to that?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  Obviously I'm dying to be out there, knowing that these are the last couple of games I will be will be able to put on a Penn State uniform, and how that affects me.  I've had an amazing experience here and I want to be out there with my guys more than anything else, so it's helping, pushing me to the limit to get out there with the guys and contribute to the team and do a great job in that way, but I will know when it's ready and I'm not going to put my leg at risk, I will make sure the doctors won't let me out there unless it's 100% so I can't wait to be out there with my guys and playing in games.

Q.  Over the summer you brought up how you lost weight to facilitate your recovery.  At what point through your rehab do you start put that go on and changing from strength inning and that initial part to get back into football shape and putting that weight back on?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  That started when camp ended.  Camp was kind of an aerobics style for me, running a lot and getting the legs back and put you got weight back on gradually.  You don't want to put it all on at once because then it turns into bad weight but with Dwight Galt and Tim Freeman have done a tremendous job getting me through the process and getting me knee to where it needs to be and my entire body where it needs to be so I couldn't ask for a better strength and medical staff.

Q.  If you could take us back to the spring.  I don't know if it was said was it ACL?

Q.  Torn ACL?

Q.  Can you talk about when you hear that type of a diagnose at this point in your career can you talk us through what your thoughts are and the game plan, what it was moving forward?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  I would lie to you if initially you're not pretty upset when you get that knowing your senior year is coming up, it was tough.  But there was no other option other than put your head down and start going to work.  We got our rehab plan set and set certain dates for certain things, when you're off the crutches, running, doing this and went to work.  God has blessed me with a tremendous rehab process so far and tremendous staff guys around me, and I'm a positive guy so that's the only thing I could do is get back to the guys, work my butt off to get back on the field with them.

Q.  When the starters have been on the sideline and you've been getting action on the field, have you seen them get excited for you on the sideline?  Can you talk about how helpful that's been for you, the guys you're usually on the field with cheering you on in a different role?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  Our team is probably the most amazing group of guys I've ever been around.  They're so supportive and it's truly a brotherhood and that's something that's stuck through every year that I've been through, Penn State always has a certain type of guy being recruited here and I couldn't ask for a better family being my team.  They're amazing and always going to be there for me.

Q.  You grew up in a Pitt family, didn't you?

Q.  What's that mean for you what are your thoughts on that?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  That's an awesome rivalry, growing up as a Pitt fan; my dad coached at Pitt.  It was an awesome rivalry.  I wish I could play in that game, but unfortunately too old for that.  It's going to be awesome, two great schools, two great programs, it will be an awesome game.

Q.  What are your goals footballwise beyond this year?  Are you taking that into account at all as you try to come back from this injury?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:¬† Obviously you have goals and aspirations to play in the NFL, and I believe I can do that, but I'm taking that one day at a time.¬† That has no affect on what I'm doing personally right now.¬† You take it day‑by‑day and my goal is to get back out there with my teammates and play with my guys for Penn State.

Q.  What do you weigh now, and how close is that to when you were injured?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  Weight about the same, 305.

Q.  Miles, do you think when you eventually get back out there and are in a game situation it might be a little weird at first considering how long you've been out?  Practices are different than games.
MILES DIEFFENBACH:¬† Yeah, it's probably a little different.¬† You know, the reason I don't think so is because I, after practice, pick a defensive linemen like Anthony Zettel, who is one of the best in the country, definitely tops in the Big Ten, and we do one‑on‑ones, and I tell him this is a game rep, go as hard as you can on me, because when I get in the a game no one is going to take it easy on me.¬† So I try to get those game reps throughout practice and prepare myself for the speed and strength level it's going to be playing if a real game.

Q.  When you scrimmage with the younger guys, how important is that not just to you but to those guys as well out thereto with him and leading by example, and all the things you have been able to learn over your career?  How important was that to you and them?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  It was important.  I couldn't wait to get back out there with the guys and start throwing bodies around and get out there with the younger guys.  After five years of being here I have a got amount of the knowledge and the game and how to work hard so it was important.

Q.  You mentioned Anthony a few minutes ago, and what's it been like for you to watch his maturation and how beneficial is it for you to have a guy like that to help you back into the game?
MILES DIEFFENBACH:  It's been awesome.  Anthony Zettel has been a guy that you know has a special talent, seeing him his first day out on the practice field the way he moves and how twitchy his body is, you know he's going to be a special player.  So seeing him get the opportunity to come out there and come into his own as a defensive lineman has been awesome.  He's a great guy and a terrific player.  Thank you, guys. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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