Winston Dimel is ready for a new start.
After three years with Kansas State, the fullback has decided to finish his college career elsewhere as a graduate transfer. Right now, he’s thinking Missouri or Texas A&M. But he’s also heard from Wisconsin and UTEP. They are all exciting possibilities, and he wants to pursue them.
But before he talks about his future, he wants to make one thing clear: He will miss K-State.
“This was one of the hardest choices of my life,” Dimel said Tuesday in an interview with the Eagle. “I have just been talking it over with my family since the bowl game and we all determined this is what is going to be best for my future and hopefully a NFL career. It was a tough decision. Some people aren’t to going to understand it and some people are going to be upset with me about it, but I had to make it.”
As a graduate transfer, Dimel will be eligible to play immediately next season. That’s what made this move so appealing for him. It’s something he has considered for a while, long before his father (Dana) left his role as K-State offensive coordinator to take the head coaching job at UTEP, and before the Wildcats beat UCLA at the Cactus Bowl.
Most, including K-State coach Bill Snyder, assumed Dimel would transfer after his father changed jobs, but Dimel said that had little impact on his decision.
“I have had this in my mind for a while now,” Dimel said. “That could have made it a harder decision, but I still think I would have ended up leaving. It just opens up new opportunities for me. I think there might be a school out there that gives me a better opportunity.”
In some ways, Dimel is looking forward to playing for a coach who doesn’t share his last name.
“It will probably be weird playing for a new coach, but I’m ready for it,” Dimel said. “It takes a little pressure off. Having your dad as a coach comes with a lot of pressure, especially at this level. If I mess up, things get a lot more negative than if someone else misses up. It’s actually kind of exciting to not have that pressure on me.”
Dimel was a key contributor within K-State’s offense throughout his three seasons here. A Manhattan local, he started all three seasons and piled up 241 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on top of 418 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. Dimel was also the team’s go-to blocker on most quarterback keepers.
He hopes to make a bigger impact with his new team and impress NFL scouts along the way.
More than anything, that fueled his desire to transfer. He contemplated turning pro and not return to college, but ultimately decided he was better off at a new school.
“Right now, it’s just about physically getting bigger and stronger,” Dimel said. “I have had a lot of injuries at K-State throughout my time here. It has kind of hurt my offseason workouts, so I just hope to get bigger, faster and stronger throughout this offseason and carry that into my senior season. After that, hopefully I well get that NFL shot.”
Dimel said he will make an official visit to Missouri this weekend and plans to look at Texas A&M soon. Both schools have offered him a scholarship. He said Wisconsin has been in contact with him recently, and his father would also love for him to play at UTEP.
How each team uses its fullbacks will be the biggest factor in his decision.
For now, he will stay in Manhattan and rehab an injured shoulder he just had surgery on. Once he signs with a new school, he will transfer there over the summer and prepare for his last season of college football.
It’s fun to think about, but it’s also hard to say goodbye.
“I am going to miss my teammates the most,” Dimel said. “I had great relationships with all of them and grew up in the Manhattan community. I can’t thank them enough for their support. I gave everything I had to this program, and it is going to be tough to leave, but it’s something I have to do.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett