Nick Adinolfi always wanted to be a running back in college. Canisius had other plans for him.
"When Nick came to Canisius, I had him ticketed as an outside linebacker in our 4-3 scheme," Griffs coach Chuck Williams said. "But I told him if he wanted to try something else, I had no problem with that."
Looks like Adinolfi's move to offense is permanent. The 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore from West Seneca West was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and ECAC Division I-AA offensive player of the week after rushing for 196 yards in Canisius' 25-7 victory over Siena last Saturday.
"It felt really good to have a game like that," said Adinolfi, who was slowed throughout the preseason with tendinitis in his knee. "I still feel a little out of shape, but it's coming around. I had great blocking from the offensive line, the fullback and receivers. They made it easy for me."
Adinolfi loved playing linebacker in high school, but not as much as the challenge of running away from them.
"I was a big fan of John Riggins growing up," he said. "I loved the way he ran and how he played the game."
Adinolfi brings the same no-nonsense approach to the unbeaten Griffs (4-0) as Riggins did during his hall of fame career with the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins.
It took Adinolfi a while to make an impact. He spent most of his freshman year on the junior varsity before joining the big boys late last season.
His first varsity start was memorable. He rushed for 196 yards on 40 carries in a win over Iona, the ninth-best performance in school history.
This season he has gained 269 yards on 60 carries for a 4.5-yard average.
"I'll be honest about it. We were so honed in on his defensive talents when we were recruiting him we didn't know he had been a good running back in high school," Williams said. "When he came in, I just figured we'll let him come into camp and run and after a couple of days he'll go back to where he belongs -- on defense.
"But he came in and made me look like a good coach for allowing the move. He's done a great job as a running back."
Hoop scrimmages tonight
Basketball fans at the University at Buffalo and Niagara can get a sneak peek at the 1996-97 men's and women's teams tonight.
UB's annual "Midnight Madness" show takes place at Alumni Arena with a women's volleyball game against Niagara at 7 p.m., followed by a mini concert with the band God's Children at 9:45.
Basketball begins at 11 as UB's women hit the court for a 45-minute warm-up and scrimmage. At midnight, the men will scrimmage and show off their skills with a three-point shooting and slam dunk contest. Former Bull Jamie Anderson, a strong jumper, is expected to participate.
Niagara's program, which also include scrimmages, three-point shooting and dunking contests, begins at 7 at the Gallagher Center. Doors open at 6:30.
St. Bonaventure's opening sessions will be held Saturday with a women's practice at 9 and scrimmage at 10. The men's slam dunk contest and three-point shootout is at 11 with a scrimmage at 11:45.
Around & About
Wisconsin defensive tackle Brandon Williams (South Park) helped the Badgers in a near-upset of No. 2-ranked Ohio State last Saturday.
Williams' biggest play was a tackle on OSU tailback Pepe Pearson for two-yard loss that ended a drive in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes used a late touchdown to survive the scare, 17-14.
Hartwick linebacker Jim Hoysradt (Lew-Port) was chosen to the ECAC Division III honor roll for the second straight week and third time in five games. His 13 tackles last week left him four short of the school career record of 290 set by Duane Tomaszewski in 1995.
Canisius goalkeeper John Ford posted three straight shutouts before losing a 1-0 soccer decision to West Virginia on Monday. Against MAAC teams, he has not been scored upon in 332 minutes.
Junior defensive tackle Dan Rivera (Timon/St. Jude) is making an impact on Colgate's improving football team. He has 25 tackles (15 solo), including six behind the line of scrimmage, and 3 1/2 sacks.