Photo by Carrie Snyder / The Forum
Jon Dinius of Langdon runs the ball for the 11-Man East team during the North Dakota Shrine Bowl on July 10 at the Fargodome.
This fall, Dickinson State is getting an athlete who can best be described as one of North Dakota’s top high school track recruits and perhaps one of its most overlooked football recruits.
Langdon High School graduate Jon Dinius recently committed to DSU and plans to play both sports.
“It seemed like a good fit for me,” Dinius said.
Last fall, Dinius rushed for 2,945 yards and 22 touchdowns while averaging 7.9 yards per carry and helping the Cardinals to the Class A state championship game, where they subsequently lost to Velva 20-0.
This spring, he won the 100 and 200 meters at the Class B state track meet and helped Langdon’s 400 relay team win a title. He was named Class B senior athlete of the year and the most valuable performer of the state meet.
Despite his gaudy statistics, at 5-foot-9, 155 pounds and from a relatively small school, Dinius was never going to be a Division I recruit. Although Dinius said he got a few looks for both football and track, most schools were not likely to let him do both sports. He also wasn’t sure if he wanted to give one up either.
Enter the Blue Hawks.
“There was quite a few from around the state looking at me, but I couldn’t really make up my mind between football or track,” Dinius said. “I kind of wanted to try both and Dickinson said I could do both.”
Dinius said DSU’s penchant for running the football was also a big selling point.
“I definitely like that,” he said. “I’m kind of a speed guy. I like to get out and run and use my speed.”
It also didn’t hurt that his father, Dennis Dinius, is a DSU alumnus who also happened to do both sports.
Dinius could be a perfect fit at DSU. If he puts on the right amount of muscle, he has the tools to be a solid football player in the NAIA and still maintain his sprinting abilities on the track.
DSU track and field head coach Pete Stanton said it was pleasing to see Dinius commit.
“To get a quality player like Jon from the east side of the state was a big plus for both of our programs,” said Stanton, who is also the linebackers coach for the football team.