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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Star quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso to enroll in 2013

Coming off of two consecutive Massachusetts state football championships and two state records, including most career touchdown passes, quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso is set to join the Big Green next fall after he spends a postgraduate year at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Dartmouth first recruited DiBiaso in 2010, during his junior year at Everett High School in Everett, Mass., where his father, John DiBiaso, has coached football since 1992. The 6'1", 200-lb quarterback was also considering Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania but finally chose Dartmouth after two campus visits and several long talks with head coach Buddy Teevens.

"The campus is what closed it for me," DiBiaso said. "I think Dartmouth's campus blew away Harvard's campus and Penn's campus. There's a golf course on campus. There's a lake on campus. You can ice skate on the pond in the winters. You can go skiing."

DiBiaso also said he likes that, due to its smaller size, there is a higher percentage of student-athletes at Dartmouth than at Harvard or Penn. Even though the Big Green's football team has lagged behind the Crimson and Quakers in recent years, DiBiaso said he is not concerned because he thinks Teevens is committed to making Dartmouth one of the best programs in the Ivy League.

"I think it's a program that is going to take off, and even though they are projected to finish sixth in the Ivy League, I think it's a school where I can step in and be a contributor quickly," DiBiaso said. "I think they're going to excel."

Dartmouth coaches declined to comment per NCAA regulations regarding incoming recruits.

The main purpose of his post-graduate year is to better prepare for the rigorous Dartmouth curriculum, according to DiBiaso. Though he got good grades and SAT scores at Everett, DiBiaso said his high school was very urban and "did not have the best academics." Exeter is more challenging, he said.

"There is a lot more reading and writing, which I didn't have so much at my old school," DiBiaso said. "I'm reading [a lot every] night, writing 1,000-word essays on a regular basis, so I'm up all night doing homework. It's not easy."

As the starting quarterback at Exeter, DiBiaso has thrown for five touchdown passes and run for one more in two games this season. 22-year veteran coach Bill Glennon said that DiBiaso leads by example.

"His demeanor is just a breath of fresh air as a quarterback," Glennon said. "He's very, very quiet, as far as what you imagine a quarterback to be. But when he steps into the huddle, he commands the respect you should get as a quarterback, and he's not overbearing. He just likes to get the job done."

Glennon praised DiBiaso's strong, accurate arm and his understanding of the game, which he said comes from growing up as a coach's son.

"He's got all the right athletic tools," Glennon said. "I don't know if there is much that I can teach him other than probably a little bit more understanding of the pace of the game. He is sometimes almost too calm."

It is not unusual for athletes to spend postgraduate years at Exeter, hoping to create more options for themselves by taking a tougher course load. This season, DiBiaso is one of eight postgrads on Exeter's roster.

"I call it a good buffer year for most postgraduates," Glennon said. "I think it was a good year for [DiBiaso] to learn to be away from home. It's a year for him to understand what it's like to be on your own and be independent and just grow a little bit in every way."

Regardless of whether football at Dartmouth works out for DiBiaso, he said he is looking forward to having an Ivy League education as a member of the Class of 2017.

"I'm going to have a diploma that's an Ivy League diploma, and I'm going to know people that have great connections," DiBiaso said. "I'm going to have a great coach that I really trust that four years, 10 years from now, he's still going to be there for me if I ever need anything."