Football: Dimick’s Dedication Pays Off

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Football: Dimick’s Dedication Pays Off

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Not many people would think twice about taking a family trip to Spain. But Hunter Dimick was pretty bitter about spending two weeks abroad when, in his mind, he should have been practicing.

When the defensive end first entered the Utah football program, head coach Kyle Whittingham recalls that Dimick’s family had been planning this trip abroad for quite some time. However, Dimick did not want to miss any summer conditioning — he didn’t want to let his team down.

“This trip had been planned for like 30 years,” Whittingham said jokingly. “And Hunter didn’t want to go because he was going to miss a few workouts. We said heck no, but that’s the type of kid he is. He’s so dedicated and committed to what he’s doing.  He felt really, really bad about missing some weight lifting and made it a huge deal to the family.”

That’s how most people characterize Dimick. He loves his team and he loves football. But in the end, he took that trip to Europe, much to his apparent dismay.

“My mom made me go,” Dimick said.

Dimick also had no luck finding a place to work out in Spain, but he made sure to give it his all when he returned home.

Before Dimick had even committed to the U, he knew nothing about the Pac-10, and he had no clue why it was a big deal when Utah was moving into the Pac-12. He quickly learned why once he joined the team, but it was never really a concern for him. Growing up all he cared about was playing for Utah. Excelling on the field for himself and the team has been his only concern since.

But like several other Utah football players, Dimick has had to watch his team take the field without him. He sat out for a good portion of the 2015 season because of injury. Whittingham understands how much Dimick was hurt by the fact he could not play, and Whittingham admits he probably did nothing to help the cause when he continued to ask him week after week after week if he was ready to get back out there.

Even though that year is behind him, it’s still something that frustrates Dimick today.

“I was pretty pissed off all of last year and still most of this year,” Dimick said. “You can’t make up lost time, but it’s paid some dividends. I feel like I’ve worked a lot harder, and you realize how much you take things for granted when they get taken away from you. I’ve always been a hard worker, but this year I didn’t leave anything left in the tank if I was going to work.”

However, Dimick isn’t one to miss a beat, and he strikes fear into opposing teams’ quarterbacks because he has a knack for getting to them.

Two weeks ago, the senior defensive end recorded five sacks against Arizona State. The entire defense racked up 11 sacks overall, and it beat its previous season high of 10 sacks against Fresno State. He gives partial credit of those sacks to Pita Taumoepenu, who accounted for three sacks himself against the Sun Devils. It’s all about the team in Dimick’s eyes, and he showed that immediately after that game.

Being the star for the defense in that outing, Dimick was set to do a post-game interview on Fox Sports 1. However, he noticed the Utes singing the fight song and he delayed the interview so he could sing it as well.

“I remember in high school we would always go and do our chant and one of the guys on our team was heartbroken because he missed it,” Dimick said. “Ever since then I’ve realized, not to sound too cheesy, but those moments when you win, [when] you get to go sing your fight song with your team, those are pretty cool.”

Aside from that game itself, Dimick’s presence on the defense has not gone unnoticed. Dimick has recorded more than 10 sacks for the entire season and he is the nearing 20 tackles-for-loss. These numbers are on par with other seasons he has played for the Utes.

In 2014, Dimick registered 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles-for-loss. Although Dimick sat out for six games in 2015, he did record seven tackles-for-loss in addition to three sacks.

Dimick is entering his last regular season game as a Ute and he wants to make sure the team ends on a high note. He hopes the Utes can make it to the Pac-12 Championship game.

The regular season finale is on Saturday, Nov. 26 against Colorado in Boulder and Dimick is proud to have spent his college career as a Ute.

“Utah always seemed to be the place I wanted to be at,” Dimick said.

Whittingham is grateful for everything Dimick has done for the program.

“He’s a team-first guy and it’s not all about him — it’s about whatever the team needs,” Whittingham said. “He’s a leader. He’s a captain. He has all the respect from his peers and it’s great to see him having the year he’s having.”

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@kbrenneisen