By Corbin McGuire
It’s the one word Trey Dishon, at Big 12 Media Days in July in Arlington, Texas, repeated when describing how his K-State career came to be. There were plenty of others — “My story’s very long,” Dishon started out — but he ended with that one word. Crazy.
A three-year starter on K-State’s defensive line, Dishon enters the last season of an unexpected journey with an appreciation for it and a chip on his shoulder from it. The senior defensive tackle can count on one finger the number of Division I scholarship offers he received. Two weeks before he signed with K-State in 2015, he did not even need that finger.
“The crazy story everyone knows,” Dishon said, “the diamond in the rough story.”
If Dishon were five or six inches taller, his story might have been on the hardwood. An all-state hoopster for Horton High School, he could dunk a basketball without taking any steps. At 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, however, he was too big to play guard in college and not tall enough to play inside.
“I was a better basketball player than I was at football, I would say,” Dishon said. “But my body is not a basketball body.”
His combination of athleticism and size on the football field did garner the interest of some colleges. At first, junior colleges came calling during his junior year. He politely declined their offers; he told them he thought he could play Division I or II.
Soon, Division II scholarship offers started coming in. Dishon verbally committed to Northwest Missouri State, a Division II powerhouse in Maryville, Missouri.
“I thought, ‘Championship team. DII powerhouse. I’d love to go up there. It’s close to home,'” he said, “and that was my plan.”
That plan got altered by one of those junior college coaches who pursued him. Steve Braet, the associate head coach at Butler Community College and father to K-State Football Director of Recruiting Taylor Braet, passed along Dishon’s name to his son.
“My dad called me and said, ‘Hey, you should take a look at this kid, Trey Dishon,'” Taylor said, “I hadn’t seen his highlights.”
More accurate, Taylor could not find any of Dishon’s highlights. They were not listed on Hudl, a primary source for high school highlights. So, Taylor followed Dishon on Twitter and direct messaged him for some footage to look at.
“He eventually sent me his highlights on YouTube,” Taylor said. “I watched him, and he had extra tape of him dunking the ball, flat footed right underneath the goal. He hurdled a guy (in another clip). He was just a very athletic big guy.”
A few days later, Dishon was in Manhattan for an official visit. One of the stops included watching a team workout. Taylor said seeing Dishon take it in reinforced what he saw on YouTube: Dishon was a different breed.
“He was one of the first guys I hosted that really just wanted to watch the entire workout, all the running, everything, and was, like, ‘I love it!’ He wasn’t intimidated by it. He enjoyed it and was excited about it,” Taylor recalled. “We got him offered and committed, and now he’s got a tattoo of a diamond on his arm and he says he was a diamond in the rough. It was a great find.”
“Who would have thought? One DI offer…coming in playing (as a redshirt freshman),” Dishon added. “It’s been crazy.”
Crazy is exactly what Dishon heard from some people when he switched his commitment from a DII school to a Power Five program. He heard it all.
“You can’t compete at that high of a level.”
“You’re never going to play there.”
“If you do, it’ll be your redshirt senior year.”
Dishon never believed any of it, but he did listen.
“That’s the chip,” he said. “Coming in my redshirt year, I just worked. I had players like Will Geary, Travis Britz, players like that who I watched and who taught me. You’re going to develop if you’re all in. Having those guys helped me prove everybody wrong.”
Dishon started 12 games as a redshirt freshman and earned Second Team Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors from Athlon. He’s started every game the last two seasons, earning Honorable Mention All-Big 12 recognition as a sophomore and posting a career-high 26 tackles last season.
“It’s surprising to me,” Dishon admitted of his career. “This was my goal, don’t get me wrong. I was meant to be here, because that’s what I worked to do, but it’s just crazy to see how far I came.”
Dishon said there’s plenty more to come, too. While some may view their last season as the light at the end of the tunnel to a new chapter, Dishon has a different take on the metaphor.
“I look at it as, ‘Everything’s at the end of the tunnel.’ I want every sack I can get. I want every TFL I can get. I want every accolade or play I can make personally to make my team win and make our team phenomenal, especially when the end of the season comes around,” he said, as K-State opens its season against Nicholls on August 31. “I’m excited. This is my senior year. It’s been a long time coming. Time has flown by so fast, but so slow at the same time.
“I’m just so excited for the season. The season’s the best part. Every Saturday you’re in front of 50,000 plus fans and the atmosphere and the emotion are outstanding.”
Source: Kansas State Sports