You've heard the phrase, "it's the little things" to describe the specific, often minute details that often form the difference between success and failure. Winston Dimel is king of those little things that make a big difference. Dimel announced via Twitter that he was indeed transferring to UTEP to join his old man and the Miner football program.
What Dimel brings to the Miners often isn't measured inside a box score but that doesn't make it any less critical to offensive efficiency and success. At K-State the elder Dimel used Winston as a classic Swiss Army knife. He lined up at fullback, h-back, tailback, tight end, and basically guard at times. When you watch the Wildcats in 2017, you usually need only find Dimel to find the ball.
Let's look at some of those little things, starting with his blocking ability.
Here's Dimel playing at fullback on a lead against West Virginia. The front five are going to reach boundary side, and Dimel leads up outside, we assume looking for the first off-colored jersey to cross his face. Once he locks on, he drives the Mountaineer safety out of the play. Locking on to a smaller, quicker player in the open field isn't an easy skill to master, but Dimel has mastered those little things like playing under control, stalking, and hand placement and makes the blocks look easy.
Here he is again, this time against Texas in the open field on a stalk block.
Again, this is a skill, and it's hard to do. If Dimel doesn't execute this block flawlessly, the back doesn't score. (A K-State guard was caught holding on this play so the back didn't score anyway but you get my point.)
Would you like to see some art? Here's the Mona Lisa of lead blocks.
Here's is a simple lead scheme but the quarterback is the running back, and Dimel leads through. The little things again make this work. A lot of backs will run up the back of the pulling guard and help the defense create a pile. Dimel hesitates, letting the guard clear, and then attacks the hole like he's the ball carrier, right up until he erases the safety. That's beautiful.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here's a play from the same game and a clinic on how to neutralize a lead blocker, by Dakota Allen. This one rattles your teeth.
But Dimel can also be an asset in the passing game as well. He's a much better athlete than you might give him credit for. This play stood out even though it's an incompletion.
After you've been running into Dimel all afternoon, it's easy to forget he might sneak out of the backfield and try to chase down a pass. Dimel runs a seam route, right down the hash marks, and he's paired up with a safety. Dimel gets leverage on the safety and is open downfield. He's not going to win a track meet, but he's a better athlete than your usual thick ankled fullback.
Last clip, another example of forgetting to account for him in the passing game.
Dimel's offense uses the quarterback in the run game, in a conventional manner, perhaps more than any other non-service academy scheme. Dimel typically leads for that running quarterback. Here again, the linebacker gets a run key as Dimel leads and the quarterback comes downhill as well. This is a pop pass or jump pass, and Dimel can get behind the linebacker and make a critical drive-extending catch.
The 3,000-yard passers are wonderful. So too are the 1,000-yard rushers, but they don't succeed without ten other players doing the little things to make offenses work. Winston Dimel is a master of the little things.
Dimel will be eligible immediately and for one season. UTEP opens their season at home against Northern Arizona.