June 27, 2009

EMCC kicker practicing at State

For the past several weeks, East Mississippi Community College kicker Phillip Dimino has been making the 20 minute drive from his home in West Point to come kick at Mississippi State's practice fields.

Dimino finished his freshman season for the Lions ranked second in the state junior college ranks nine points behind All-American and current Bulldog Sean Brauchle. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has several ties to the MSU program would like to suit up in maroon and white in 2011.

"I would love to kick at Mississippi State but I know that they've got (Sean) Brauchle now," Dimino said. "I've been kicking on their practice fields the past couple of weeks with Shaun Taylor. He's like my mentor. He tells me what to do when schools come talk to me because he's been down that same road. He just keeps my head straight on me."

Taylor, also a West Point native, began his career at Auburn before transferring back closer to home at Mississippi State and earning a letter in 1994. Taylor is now the assistant coordinator of game operations at MSU.

But Taylor is not the only tie to the Bulldogs for Dimino. His older brother Nick Dimino was a walk-on kicker for State in 1999-00.

"I look up to (Nick) a lot too," Dimino said. "He kicked at West Point and had offers to tons of places but he wanted to stay close to home and walked-on at State when Jackie Sherrill was there. Sherrill told him that he didn't like giving a kicker a scholarship out of high school. He was there when Scott Westerfield was there so he didn't get any playing time. He got a Peach Bowl ring and an Independence Bowl watch. He ended up transferring to Scooba (East Mississippi Community College) and playing a year there."

Dimino admitted he had a hard time adjusting to kicking off the ground his first season at EMCC. He made just 3-of-6 of his field goal attempts and was 37-of-45 on extra point tries. His long last season was from 42-yards out.

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