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Low key Hunter Dimick embodies 'Hometown Hero' status for Utes

Senior defensive end Hunter Dimick has truly been a "Hometown Hero" for the Utes. And his journey has been well worth the effort.

Senior defensive end Hunter Dimick claims to be your average guy from Utah, but he is anything but average for anyone, anywhere. At 6-foot-3 inches and 272 pounds, he is a pre-season All-Conference candidate in the Pac-12.

Dimick is also a three time Pac-12 All-Academic selection. He can bench press 450 pounds, which is second best on the team and his 36 reps of 225 lbs is the best on the team. He can eat six sandwiches in a night and has mad love for his friends and family even after they give him grief about his “small hands”.

“Who told you that? Who told you that? They aren’t small!”

In all seriousness, Dimick’s journey with the Utes has been long and rewarding, but it’s something he will value going forward into the next chapter. “It’s been a long road. It’s been a pretty long, rough road but very rewarding,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming getting up to this senior year and I’m sorry to go, but I also feel like it’s time for the next stage.”

The NFL is where Dimick would like to make his next stop after he wraps up his career with Utah, but he's open to other options when and if the time to think about it comes. “Hopefully I get to play football for a while longer, if that’s not the case I’ll worry about it then,” Dimick said. “I haven’t given it too much thought to tell you the truth.”

Dimick also never gave much thought to going out of state for school. Having grown up 45 minutes north of Salt Lake in Syracuse the Utes were the end all and be all for him. “Growing up I always wanted to be here. I came here as a little kid to watch some games. I never gave football outside the University of Utah a thought,” Dimick said of being a hometown hero. “I didn’t even know what the Pac-10 was at the time until about the end of my junior year [of high school] when we were starting to join up with them and it didn’t matter what conference, what players, what the history was I just wanted to be here and I’m glad I had the chance to.”

Choosing to stay home to play, while easy from a moving perspective, wasn’t the easiest choice when it came to playing time. The Utes are known for their nasty defensive line that included some other, very talented defensive ends that he had to compete with to get playtime.

“It was an uphill battle. We’ve always been deep,” Dimick said of his position group. “When I first got up here we had Joe Kruger, Nate Orchard, and Jason Fanaika came my redshirt freshman year. It’s tough but it makes you better being around that high caliber of players all the time because you either have to match or flat-out beat them out to play which is obviously the goal. It’s been tough but I feel like it makes us all better being around high caliber players.”

Helping him adjust to and match the talent around him was Ilaisa Tuiaki who was his position coach before leaving in 2015 with Kalani Sitake to go up to Oregon State for a year and then coming back down with Sitake to be the defensive coordinator at rival BYU in 2016. “I feel like he’s the one who got me from being a decent football player to being able to start in the Pac-12 as a sophomore,” Dimick said of his former coach and mentor. “I think his saying is ‘Work is the eternal principle of living and becoming God.’ He’s really dedicated to his work and everything he does, he always loved his players. I watched how he treated us and his family and I would say that’s probably been the best learning experience for me.”

Football is very much a family affair in the Dimick household with both of his younger sisters having played for a stretch. “Yeah, Sharlie played in 5th and 6th grade I think, Sage played in 3rd grade I believe,” Dimick said with a proud smile. “They both gave it a shot, they both tore it up for a little while but Sharlie found out the hard way that about 6th, 7th grade the guys start to get a little bit bigger, and faster. Luckily Sage found out faster. They played and did well when they did.”

However, despite being tough former football players who can handle their own the protective big brother instinct comes natural to Dimick who says no guy, teammate or otherwise will ever be good enough for them. “No, no. My sisters are- I’m pretty protective,” he said. “I always have been and always will be. No one has ever been good enough for my sisters but they are tough enough to handle themselves now. If they are ever around when guys are around I’ll make sure they don’t talk to them.”

Despite not trusting his teammates with his sisters, Dimick can trust them with a good time. His favorite memory is from when he and a bunch of the guys went down to Las Vegas to celebrate former teammate Jared Norris’ 21st birthday. Just don’t ask for details because he’s not telling. “Uh. Good time. Good time. That’s about it,” Dimick said with a guilty laugh. “What happens in Vegas definitely stays in Vegas. That was a good time. That was the best ever.”

While some of the shenanigans Dimick and his teammates have gotten into over the years have been fun, what he most would like the impression he leaves on fans to be was of a guy who worked relentlessly for every accolade that has come his way.

“I’ve never been too worried about what people think of me,” Dimick said. “As far as our fans, what I would hope to leave my mark as just a hard worker. I live 45 minutes north of here. That’s where I am from. You know, I’m just about your average sized white kid but I work my butt off. It’s paid some dividends so I guess- this is going to sound cheesy but if you work hard enough you can get to where you want to be. That’s what I’d like my mark to be.”

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