Matt Dey

Sidney football alum Matt Dey received yet another award for his stellar senior year at Dickinson State University.

Dickinson State University football student-athlete, Matt Dey (SR/Sidney, MT), has been named the 2021 NAIA Rimington Award winner – which is awarded to the nation’s best center at the NCAA DI, DII, DIII, FCS and NAIA levels. This honor marks the first in Dey’s career and the first in Blue Hawk football program history.

“It’s crazy to think that I was given this award,” stated Dey. “It’s humbling that enough people thought enough of me to say that I was the best center in the country at the NAIA level. But with the guidance of Coach Stanton and the offensive coaching staff, they prepared me week in and week out for the past couple of years to be the best I could be. It’s truly a remarkable honor and I thank everyone for helping me get to this point.”

Dey, a senior captain from Sidney, Mont., was most recently named a First-Team AFCA All-American in 2021 and a Second-Team selection in 2020 while anchoring the Blue Hawk offense. During his senior campaign, he has helped the Hawks’ offense garner over 4,500 yards of offense and 60 touchdowns – which marks the most in program history.

“We are very proud of Matt for achieving this outstanding honor,” said DSU’s head football coach Pete Stanton. “Matt has represented our program well and is a great person and leader – both on and off the field.”

In addition, the Blue Hawk offense ranked fifth in the nation in passing touchdowns (36) and ninth in red-zone touchdowns. Notably, Dey was also named First-Team North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) in 2021 and 2020.

What Others Are Saying –

“Matt is a very smart player. We relied on him to make a lot of calls up front for us. He was also a great leader for not only the offensive line but our entire team. He is well deserving of this award.” – DSU’s offensive coordinator – Russell McCarvel

“Matt has been quite a staple to the Blue Hawk success in the past five years. Not only his presence on the field, but the way he treats his teammates, coaches and really anyone he comes in contact with has been impressive. I’ve had the honor working with Matt as a teammate and most recently as a coach. His football knowledge is through the roof and he is sometimes too smart for his own good. It has been an honor to be able to call Matt a good friend of mine and he’s going to do great with whatever he decides to do with his future!” – DSU’s running back and offensive graduate assistant coach and former DSU quarterback – Hayden Gibson

“Matt is a guy I got to know very well in my time at DSU being a former teammate of his. What I’ve witnessed is a leader that does everything through his actions. He was an undersized lineman that decided early on in his career that he was going to use his football knowledge to make up for any physical attribute that he didn’t have. Every single day, he came in and had a goal of becoming just a little bit better every day, while also making his teammates better as well. He has left a remarkable legacy as a Blue Hawk and it will be a career that will be talked about for many years to come. Matt is going to go on to do great things with his life and we are excited to see whichever path that turns out to be!” – DSU’s offensive line coach and former teammate – Tobin O’Brien

About the Rimington Award -

The Rimington Award is presented to the premier centers in the FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA divisions of college football. Originating in 2003, it is the only individual award given to every four-year division of college football. Since 2008, the recipients of the Rimington Award have been chosen by Jason Dannelly.

Dannelly has been a small college football journalist since 1998. In that time, he has been a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), founder of the Victory Sports Network and general manager of the College Fanz Sports Network. His work over the last 20 years in small college media has come through print publications, blogs, and radio/television broadcasts.

To select the award, Dannelly has established relationships with media, coaches, and scouts of small college football to create a network of information and resources for FCS, DII, DII, DIII and NAIA football. He calls on these experts each year to select the Rimington Award. Nominees should obtain at minimum a first team All-Conference award to be considered.

Load comments