Hometown: Miami, FL
Record: 33-5, Bowl Record: 3-0 including two BCS wins
Johnny Dingle was mostly used a situational player for the majority of his early career. Dingle was forced to sit out his freshman year due to academic ineligibility and then had to fight for increased playing time, predominantly in passing situations during his sophomore and junior seasons. Dingle worked hard in the spring of 2007 to earn a starting spot at defensive end for Coach Casteel’s defense. During the 2007 season, Dingle terrorized opposing quarterbacks, tallying 9 sacks. In all, Dingle racked up 79 tackles and 14.5 sacks in three seasons for the Mountaineers.
Memorable Game: Dingle had a monster performance in WVU’s first trip to Starkville, MS in 2006. West Virginia came into the game against Mississippi State with a #4 ranking and a 4-0 record. From the start, the game was a mismatch. WVU’s offense fired on all cylinders that day, putting up 314 yards rushing and 406 total yards of offense. Dingle and the Mountaineer defense suffocated the Bulldog rushing attack, forcing Mississippi State to turn to their sub-par passing game. Johnny would make his mark on the opposing quarterbacks by registering 2 sacks. Dingle would finish the game with 4 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. The Mountaineer defense would hold the Bulldogs to 56 yards on the ground, 306 yards total offense en route to WVU’s 42-14 victory.
Competition: This selection could have also gone to Henry Slay, who has much better career statistics than Dingle does. Johnny Dingle earned the nod at #92 for his monster senior season and the quality of teams he played on, contributing to two BCS wins. Also, I might have put a little personal bias into this pick, as I could not conscientiously separate Dingle and Berry.
Teaser: After a run on defensive linemen, we finally turn to a linebacker for tomorrow’s selection. The selection for tomorrow could have been made on merit, could have been made on notoriety, or the selection could have been at random. With 100 picks to make, some days I’m just shooting from the hip, just like in the wild, wild west.