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Senior linebacker Jordon Dizon became the first CU athlete to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, as selected by the conference coaches and announced Tuesday.
Coach Dan Hawkins said Dizon is the best linebacker he has ever coached.
“He has had a tremendous season,” Hawkins said. “He’s played very well and been very productive. He has been very consistent and very solid.”
Dizon led the nation in tackles for a majority of the season. He is also one of three finalists for the Butkus Award, which is given to the best linebacker in the country.
“The guy has a relentless motor,” Hawkins said. “We always talk about playing hard, playing smart and having fun and he does that.”
Dizon said becoming a finalist is an honor, but he would rather win a bowl game.
“It is a lot more important to me to get to go to a bowl and spend another three or four weeks with these guys than it is to win the Butkus,” Dizon said.
Penn State’s Dan Connor and Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis are the other two finalists. The winner of the award will be announced Dec. 7.
Dizon also met two fellow teammates with first team All-Big 12 Conference honors, as named by the league coaches.
Senior cornerback Terrence Wheatley earned the honors for his second year in a row.
Coach Hawkins said Wheatley has been an important part of CU’s defense.
“It was tough to not have T-Wheat the last couple of games, both from a physical standpoint as well as an emotional standpoint,” Hawkins said.
Junior defensive tackle George Hypolite moved up to first team after earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors by league coaches his sophomore year.
“All of those players are very deserving of the awards that they got,” quarterback Cody Hawkins said. “They are a big part of our team success.”
Senior offensive guard Tyler Polumbus earned second team All-Big 12 Conference honors.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Margot Schneider at email@example.com.