Thursday, November 29, 2007
The senior linebacker is the first Buffalo to receive the honor as he completed a “bookend” career. He was also named as the Big 12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2004.
Dizon is the third player in conference history to receive both the defensive freshman and player of the year awards, joining Kansas State’s Mark Simoneau (1996, 2000) and Texas’ Derrick Johnson (2000, 2004). He was also one of three Buffs on the first team All-Big 12 team.
“It’s an honor, it definitely is,” Dizon said in a statement. “There are a lot of tangibles that go on behind this; I have to thank my coaches, Coach (Brian) Cabral and Coach (Dan) Hawk (Hawkins). I have to thank my D-line, (DT) Brandon Nicolas and (DT) George Hypolite because with out both of them none of this would have been possible.”
Dizon is the first Colorado player to win a conference player of the year award since 2002, when tailback Chris Brown earned the offensive honor from the Big 12 coaches. He’s the first Buff defensive player to do so since 1992, when cornerback Deon Figures earned the Big Eight Conference nod the same year he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.
“He is very deserving,” Hawkins said in a release. “Good things happen to good people and he is one of those guys. He has had a tremendous season; he’s played very well and been very productive.”
Dizon has 149 tackles (107 solo, 42 assisted) on the season. Earlier this month, Dizon was named one of three finalists for the Dick Butkus award, the award given to the top linebacker in college football.
“(Winning the Butkus) isn’t really important to me,” Dizon said. “If this is the end of the road, if this is where it ends, then I am happy where I am. I mean it’d be really nice to win it, but I’d rather go out and win a bowl game.”
Colorado coach Hawkins thinks Dizon should win the award.
“Just his production,” he said. “You look at what he has done and the schedule we have played. Again, it’s easy to say we all like our own guys, but we’ve had a lot of guys who have seen every football player in America come through here and it is pretty much a unanimous call by them that he is the best linebacker in the country.”
Other Dick Butkus award finalists James Laurinaitis of Ohio State has 103 tackles (39 solo, 64 assisted) and Dan Connor of Penn State has 136 tackles (66 solo, 70 assisted). The winner will be announced on Dec. 7 in Orlando, Fla.