It seems like a long wait, but we only have 65 days until the Nittany Lions take the field again. We continue our countdown with another favorite # 65, since there’s not currently a #65 on the Penn State roster --- left guard Miles Dieffenbach.
Dieffenbach, ranked as the country’s top prep center, came out of Fox Chapel Area high in Pittsburgh, where he was named an Under Armour All-American and first-team all-state selection. Joining Penn State in 2010 and taking a redshirt as a freshman, and little playing time as a sophomore, Dieffenbach had to wait a while to get his chance behind a group of talented starters.
The patience paid off. As a junior, Dieffenbach started 11 games in 2012 under head coach Bill O’Brien as the left guard on the offensive line, setting up quarterback Matt McGloin for success in his record-setting 2012 campaign. Dieffenbach started every game in 2013, helping the Penn State offense rush for more than 2,00 yards and throw for more than 3,000 yards that season.
As a senior, Dieffenbach was returning as the most experienced member of the offensive line, but missed most of the games in the 2014 season after an ACL tear during the spring. When he returned to play in the last few games of the year, it was clear that he was still struggling with that injury.
By the time Dieffenbach graduated, he had been named as a captain, named to the Academic All-Big Ten team twice, and most importantly will be remembered as one of the players and leaders who stayed with the Nittany Lions during one of the toughest times for the team. He also graduated with two undergraduate degrees in Advertising/Public Relations and Labor Employment Relations.
After Penn State, Dieffenbach signed with the Steelers in 2015 as an undrafted free agent but was later cut during the team’s training camp.
In 2018, Dieffenbach announced a cancer diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and after a four-month battle, officially went into remission. He’s currently doing fine and working as an investment analyst in Pittsburgh.