Snubbed by the Combine, Another Chip on Dimick’s Shoulder

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Former Utah defensive end Hunter Dimick has seemingly always had something to prove.

One of the more dedicated University of Utah football players to come through the program — wanting to bail on a family trip to Spain so he could stay in Utah to practice freshman year — Dimick put up record-setting numbers during his time at Utah. He set the record for career sacks as a Ute with 29.5 in his career, and his 44 tackles-for-loss placed him at third best in the program. He did that all without even playing the majority of his junior year.

Dimick had to sit out a good portion of his third year with Utah because of an injury. He was mad that he had to watch his teammates compete without him, and for that matter, he probably could have even put up better career numbers. He came back with somewhat of a vengeance in his senior season, and he was eager to prove he had not lost a step despite sitting out eight games the year prior.

After recording 15 sacks and 22 TFLs during his last stint as a Ute, the first-team All Pac-12, Dimick was notably not invited to the NFL Combine. That just gave him another reason to keep working harder than all his counterparts.

“Hard works pays off,” Dimick said. “There have been a lot of highs, a lot of lows, and I’ve always stuck to working hard and controlling what I can control.”

At Utah’s 2017 Pro Day, Dimick recorded 38 reps on the bench press, and this bested Isaac Asiata high of 35 reps he did at the combine. As Dimick was going at it, nearly all the Utah football players participating in Thursday’s drills surrounded his bench, and they were all cheering him on, even Asiata.

Asiata has been training with Dimick leading up to this year’s NFL Draft, and he noted that it can be difficult for either of them when other teams are working them out and not the other. As he watched his longtime teammate and friend go to the bench, he wanted nothing more than for Dimick to show him up.

“Just to see him rep it out like that and throw it around like it was nothing, I was excited for him,” Asiata said.

Although Garrett Bolles may have drawn the most attention from the scouts considering he is projected to be a first-round pick, he was excited to see Dimick prove to those same scouts that he should have been on that invite list to the combine in the first place. Bolles would argue that Dimick was the best defensive end in the nation, and granted the two only got one year to play together, he values what Dimick brings to the field.

“Hunter’s a boss, and he’s going to get an opportunity, and I hope everyone in the nation understands that,” Bolles said. I’m just so blessed to be able to play with him and have a friend like that. I’m so excited for him for where he’s going. I just love that kid so much, and he has so much heart and desire to do what’s right and I hope to see what happens with him.”

Even though his teammates were impressed with his showing, Dimick wishes he would have gotten in a couple more reps to reach 40, because that’s how he is — always striving to do more. At the same time, though, he appreciates all the support he received from his former teammates.

“Isaac set the tone at the combine, and to have him there cheering me on and beat what he got was really cool, and it just speaks to the whole team and how big of a family we are,” Dimick said.

Although he has been sticking to a strict workout regimen, he is taking Friday off to go fishing, but then it’s back to the grind after the weekend because he knows he has more things to accomplish.

As for proving people wrong, Dimick felt like he did just that in the other agility drills he participated in. He thinks he’s in the best shape of his life, and he wants NFL teams to know that he can fulfill whatever role they need him to do.

“I feel like people got the impression that I was slow and couldn’t change direction very well, so I felt like I did a good job today of showing that’s incorrect, and that I’m an overall good athlete,” Dimick said.

k.brenneisen@dailyutahchronicle.com

@kbrenneisen

Kim Brenneisen
Kim Brenneisen has been a part of The Daily Utah Chronicle for three years as a sports writer, assistant sports editor and sports editor. She is currently the print managing editor, and she has interned at MLB.com through the Sports Journalism Institute.

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