A week after learning the Big 12’s coaches voted him a second-team all-conference linebacker, Kansas redshirt junior Joe Dineen picked up a national honor Thursday from Sports Illustrated with an even more prestigious ring to it: second-team All-American.
Dineen led the Big 12 not only in total tackles (137) this past season, but also solo tackles (93) and tackles for loss (25.0) — production that no doubt helped his case as SI’s writers and editors cast their votes.
Sports Illustrated selected Iowa’s Josey Jewell, Georgia’s Roquan Smith, Clemson’s Dorian O’Daniel and Auburn’s Jeff Holland as first-team All-America linebackers. Malik Jefferson of Texas, Sutton Smith of Northern Illinois and Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo joined Dineen as linebackers on the second team.
Dineen’s 7.8 solo tackles per game led all FBS players, while his 2.1 TFLs on average ranked third nationally. His 25.0 TFLs set a new KU single-season record.
The Lawrence native and Free State High graduate also finished his redshirt junior year ranked sixth in the FBS in total tackles. Dineen added two pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble, as well.
Dineen became the first Jayhawk to pick up All-America honors from Sports Illustrated since 2007, when cornerback Aqib Talib was named to the publication’s second team.