Seven college football players with Hawaii ties received national recognition yesterday, and three of them are UH receivers.
But the biggest honor went to Waimea High School graduate Jordon Dizon. The Colorado linebacker became the first player from a Hawaii high school to make the Associated Press All-America team since Toniu Fonoti of Kahuku and Nebraska in 2001.
Dizon, a Butkus Award finalist, was also named to the Walter Camp Foundation All-America team last week. He is the most accomplished college football player to ever come from Kauai and the most decorated from Hawaii this season.
Dizon ended the regular season as the nation's leading tackler and was Colorado's MVP.
The 6-foot, 225-pound four-year starter made his accomplishments seem simple.
"As far as consistency goes, they tell me what to do and I go out and do it. Football's the same thing you play in high school," Dizon said in a phone interview from Boulder, Colo., yesterday. "If you're coachable and learn well, you're going to be a great player. You just have to go out there and know what you're doing. People say the game has changed because of measurables. As far as I see, it's about knowledge -- knowledge of your opponent, the game and being in the right place at the right time."
Dizon said he has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 26. He added that he is leaning toward playing in the Jan. 12 Hula Bowl at Aloha Stadium.
"My grandparents, friends and rest of my family would get to see me play. It would be fun for the whole family and I'm pretty sure I'll do it," Dizon said. "I just want to play to play."
Dizon's position coach at Colorado is Brian Cabral, the former Saint Louis School standout and Chicago Bears linebacker and special teams star.
"He stepped up and delivered every week," said Cabral, who is in the islands recruiting. "He closes fast and makes so many plays that sometimes I don't know how he does it. He's willing to do anything you ask of him and he will always outwork and out-compete you."
Hawaii senior quarterback and third-place Heisman finalist Colt Brennan and junior slotback Davone Bess made the AP's third team.
The AP and Walter Camp teams, along with the AFCA (coaches), FWAA (writers) and Sporting News teams are conisdered bona fide All America teams by the NCAA.
UH senior left guard Hercules Satele was named to the FWAA first team Saturday, and garnered third-team recognition from the SI.com team yesterday.
Hawaii junior slotback Ryan Grice-Mullins and Brennan made the SI.com second team, and Warriors senior wide receiver Jason Rivers got honorable mention.
Bess, Grice-Mullins and Rivers all caught passes for more than 1,000 yards this season, tying an NCAA record.
"My goal was never to get any individual awards, but just help the team win," Grice-Mullins said. "Whatever comes after that is icing on the cake."
Oregon junior center Max Unger (Hawaii Prep) made the SI.com first team.
Brennan likes to spread credit to teammates and was thrilled to see some of them get recognized.
"I thought it was nice that a couple different publications chose different guys instead of one guy," said Brennan, who just returned from the Heisman Trophy ceremony Sunday. "There's three guys who deserved first- or second-team All-American. Their numbers and the way they play warrant it. But because of where we play and the system being stereotyped, it's hard to get recognition. And Herc's definitely a guy that deserves it, too."
Practices set, but closed
UH will have two practices this week and five next week in preparation for the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. The practices are closed to the public.
There will be a public appearance by Heisman Trophy finalist Brennan and other players sometime next week.
It has yet to be determined if practices in New Orleans will be open.
Monteilh to make trip
Junior Keao Monteilh said he's on the travel roster, but the starting free safety added he still won't be able to play against Georgia due to a midseason shoulder blade injury.
"I told (the coaches) if they let me suit up I wouldn't sneak into the game, but I guess they didn't believe me," Monteilh said.
Monteilh's father is from the New Orleans area and many relatives still live there.
Isle's All-America boysFour players with Hawaii ties have received notice from at least one of the five NCAA-recognized All-America teams.
|Davone Bess||Hawaii||WR||AP-3, WC-2|
|Jordon Dizon||Colorado (Waimea)||LB||AP-1, WC-1|