RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.8 (Football)
A post shared by Kansas Football (@kufootball) on Oct 11, 2017 at 7:08am PDT
Steady learning that’s why patience is the key??
— Dorance?? (@Dorance_ALegend) October 15, 2017
Over the past several years Kansas football has produced a standout tackler and 2017 is no different as redshirt-junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr., is collecting tackles at an extremely high rate.
A Lawrence native, Dineen has registered double-figure tackles in 5-of-6 games this year, including a career-high-tying 16 in his last outing at Iowa State. Dineen leads the Big 12 Conference in both total tackles per game (12.8) and solo stops (8.2)—a number that is best in the FBS. On top of all of that, Dineen is leading the Big 12 and ranks second in the FBS in tackles-for-loss with 2.0 per game.
In 2014, Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney led the Big 12 and the FBS in solo tackles per game with 7.3 per outing. In 2015, it was safety Fish Smithson who took over that spot, as he led the conference and the NCAA in solo stops with 7.9 per game. Fellow safety Mike Lee took over the lead tackling spot for the Jayhawks as he topped the Big 12 and was fourth in the nation in solo tackles with 6.4 per contest last fall.
Dineen moved from safety to running back as a true freshman in 2014, and then back to defense late in the season where he settled at linebacker. As a sophomore in 2015, he picked up where Heeney left off, finishing the year with 86 total tackles—including posting 10 or more tackles in four games.
The 2016 season looked to be a big year for Dineen, but it was cut short as his junior campaign ended early, in the third game, when he suffered a season-ending injury.
Healed and ready to roll in 2017, Dineen has been all over the field for the Jayhawks, making tackle after tackle. At the halfway point of the year, the KU captain has collected 77 total tackles, including 49 solo hits. He has registered 12.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack, two quarterback hurries and one pass breakup.