Joe Dineen Jr., tabbed a finalist for Pop Warner Little Scholars National College Football Award
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas senior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., was tabbed one of six finalists for the Pop Warner Little Scholars National College Football Award Tuesday. Dineen, who currently leads the FBS in solo tackles ranks at the top of the Big 12 Conference in total tackles and is KU’s all-time leader in tackles-for-loss, stands out for the Jayhawks both on and off the field as he is also a leader in the Lawrence community.
A two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honoree in 2018, Dineen has collected 119 tackles, 10.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries, an interception and three quarterback hurries. One of the top linebackers in the country, Dineen is a three-time Lott IMPACT Trophy Award Player of the Week nominee, picking up the honors following Kansas’ win over Central Michigan. In addition, he was named a mid-season First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated.
As stellar as his play is on the field, Dineen might do his best work off of it as he dedicates many of his hours away from football to the Lawrence community. Dineen has been very active in numerous community service initiatives, including KU Football’s elementary school reading program, children’s football clinics, Special Olympics football clinics and feeding the homeless with JustFood, but he really found his passion raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. As the Jayhawks lost a child to the disease who was dear to the program in Cole Hayden, Dineen got very involved organizing visits to Children’s Mercy Hospital for the football players, along with a group of players shaving their heads in his (Cole Hayden’s) honor. Additionally, he took part in decorating Hayden’s house for Christmas and also organized a group of football players helping with a 5K run in Hayden’s honor. Dineen then organized a “Cole’s Christmas in July” event at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where he and his teammates delivered gifts to all of the children in the cancer wing of the hospital in honor of Hayden. In addition to his work with childhood cancer, Dineen has also served on the leadership team for KU’s partnership with Team IMPACT, a nonprofit that pairs kids with special needs with their local sports teams,
On top of Dineen’s service to the community, he has been a leader in the KU program throughout his time on the team. Dineen is one of just three players in Kansas’ 128 years of football to be voted a team captain three times. He has been named a team captain in each of the last three seasons and has also been selected to represent the Jayhawks at Big 12 Media Days in each of those same three seasons. While earning his bachelor’s degree in management and leadership with an entrepreneurship concentration in May 2018, Dineen picked up numerous academic honors along the way. He is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree, an Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team member and he also earned Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and KU Athletics Director’s Honor Roll four times during his KU career.
The Pop Warner Little Scholars National College Football Award will be presented during the annual Pop Warner Super Bowl at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Last year’s winner was former University of Miami and current New England Patriots wide receiver Braxton Berrios. Previous recipients have included Prince Amukamara (Nebraska), Chase Minnifield (Virginia), Sean Renfree (Duke), Gary Bush (Purdue), Jordan Richards (Stanford), Brandon Chubb (Wake Forest) and Evan Engram (Mississippi).
About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the nation’s oldest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Pop Warner participants enjoy the opportunity to learn and compete in their sports in an atmosphere that emphasizes fun, safety, academics and character. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit popwarner.com or follow Pop Warner on Twitter @Pop_Warner, Facebook @PopWarnerLittleScholars, Instagram @popwarnerlittlescholars and Snap @popwarner1929.
Dineen and the Jayhawks are set to travel to No. 6/6 Oklahoma for a 6:30 p.m., contest on Saturday, Nov. 17. The game will be broadcast live on FOX.