Joe Dineen Jr., nominated for the 2018 Wuerffel Trophy
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Kansas football senior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. was named one of 106 nominees for the 2018 Wuerfful Trophy Thursday.
The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually in Fort Walton Beach. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Dineen dedicates himself to not only bettering his play on the field, but also bettering the community by volunteering his time and energy to help a number of area nonprofit organizations.
Dineen has worked diligently to raise awareness for childhood cancer and volunteered with organizations Just Food, Salvation Army and the Special Olympics, among others. In addition, he serves on KU’s leadership team for its partnership with Team Impact, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
While his community service numbers continually grow, so do his statistics. Dineen led the Big 12 Conference in total tackles (137), tackles-for-loss (25.0) and solo tackles (93) in 2017. His 7.8 solo tackles per game also led the FBS, while his 2.1 TFLs per contest ranked third in the FBS. His 25.0 TFLs was a new Kansas single-season record, and he finished the 2017 campaign ranked third in the FBS in total tackles.
Dineen and the Jayhawks will begin the 2018 season on September 1 vs. Nicholls State. Jayhawk great Chris Harris Jr. will enter the Ring of Honor during KU’s opener versus NSU and the 2008 Insight Bowl team will also be celebrated.
The Jayhawks will also host nonconference opponent Rutgers (Sept. 15/Family Weekend, Childhood Cancer Awareness) as Todd Reesing, who owns 14 school records and is one of the most decorated players in Kansas history, will have his name etched next to other Jayhawk legends in the Ring of Honor.
Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State (Sept. 29/Homecoming, K-Club Weekend), TCU (Oct. 27/Jayhawks for a Cure), Iowa State (Nov. 3/Salute to Service) and Texas (Nov. 23/Senior Day) will each visit Lawrence during the 2018 campaign.