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Top 15 CU Buffs football players of the decade - #2

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
June 11, 2015

 

For the next couple weeks we will be counting down the top 15 Colorado football players since the 2005-2006 season. Of course, it’s not the most fun decade to be looking at, but I think the down period created an interesting challenge when creating this list.

As it always goes with these lists, there is not an exact formula to determine the top 15, I tried to weigh a player’s success at CU over all other factors, but of course things like NFL success and fan favorite status creeped into the decision making process.

I’m sure people will disagree with placement, or certain players being left off, but that’s part of the fun of these, so as we work down the list, let me know where you disagree!

#2 – Jordon Dizon

Every once in a while, players come along that are just perfect for the college game, not exactly the prototypical size or build for their position, but able to use natural abilities, instincts, and flat out effort to be dominant in the college game, it’s part of what makes college athletics so special.

Jordon Dizon was one of those players, at six-foot-nothing, 220 pounds, Dizon certainly didn’t possess the perfect body type for an inside linebacker, but his smaller stature was made up for by his incredible closing speed, off the charts instincts, and flat-out heart, all of which was enough to make him one of the best linebackers in Colorado history.

In 2004, Dizon enjoyed one of the best freshman seasons in Colorado history, earning the AP’s Big-12 Newcomer of the year, as well as Big-12 defensive freshman of the year, as selected by the leagues coaches, making him the only player in CU history to win both awards. He was a second-team Freshman All-American as selected by The Sporting News and Rivals.com, and AP tabbed him an honorable mention All-Big 12 performer.

Dizon led all conference freshman with 82 tackles (51 solo), and smashed the former CU record for tackles by a freshman by 15, and went on to win CU’s Lee Willard Award, as the team’s most outstanding freshman, only the third inside linebacker to ever win the honor.

Dizon had a bit of a sophomore slump by his standards, but even his slump was good enough to earn honorable mention All-Big 12 once again, as he racked up 61 tackles (42 solo) including seven tackles for a loss (three sacks.)

As a junior, Dizon got back on his pace, tallying a massive 137 tackles (80 solo), 17 third down stops, two fumble recovers and one forced fumble, on his way to being named second team All-Big 12. He accorded a career high 19 tackles, including nine solo and two for a loss, against Nebraska, and received the team’s Tom McMahon Award, given for dedication and work ethic.

His first three years were great, but as a captain in his senior year, Dizon really blew up, as he became Colorado’s first Consensus All-American at linebacker since Matt Russell in 1996. Dizon was one of three finalist for the Butkus Award, one of 15 semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and one of eight semifinalists for the Ronnie Lott Award, and was selected by the leagues coaches as the Big-12 defensive player of the year.

As far as team awards, Jordon was the recipient of CU’s Zack Jordan Award as the team’s most valuable player and the Dave Jones Award as the most outstanding defensive player as well as the Buffalo Heart Award, presented by the fans.

Dizon, a first-team All-Big 12 performer, led the nation on solo tackles with an astonishing 120, and was second in total tackles with 149. The 120 solo stops shattered CU’s previous record by 15. hHis 19 third down stops was a school record, and he added on 11 tackles for loss, and 14 tackles for no-gain.

Dizon was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the NFL draft, and tallies 53 tackles in the NFL, before suffering a career ending knee injury in 2010.

Legend has it, Dizon still hunts down wild boar with only a knife from time to time. Okay not anymore, but legend really does have it he did that as a kid.

Previous players:

#3 – Nate Solder

#4 – Lawrence Vickers

#5 – Joel Klatt

#6 – Rodney Stewart

#7 – Mason Crosby

#8 – Nelson Spruce

#9 – Scotty McKnight

#10 – Jimmy Smith

#11 – Cody Hawkins

#12 – Hugh Charles

#13 – George Hypolite

#14 – Greg Henderson

#15 – David Bakhtiari

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