MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State release) Kansas State senior offensive lineman Dalton Risner was named one of three finalists for the 2018 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year – which recognizes exemplary leadership both on and off the field – the organization announced Monday.
Risner is joined on the finalist list by Auburn’s Derrick Brown and Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon, and all three will be invited to the award ceremony on February 12, at The Star in Frisco, Texas, where the winner will be announced.
“I am very proud to announce these three outstanding young men as the finalists for the second annual Collegiate Man of the Year,” Witten said. “Derrick Brown, D’Cota Dixon and Dalton Risner are all outstanding leaders on the field, in the classroom and in the community, and they are shining examples of what being a student-athlete is all about. It was incredibly difficult to choose just three from all of the great players nominated. There are so many great representatives for college football, and I commend all of the nominees for the tremendous example of leadership they set on and off the field.”
Risner, a three-year team captain, has earned numerous honors for his outstanding community service throughout his career. This year alone, Risner was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the Wuerffel Trophy, the Senior CLASS Award, and was named to the Allstate/American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team.
A 2017 and 2018 All-American by multiple outlets, Risner has made it a priority to make a positive impact on those in the community. He has taken it to another level by starting the RiseUp Foundation, which has started in both a blog and v-log form to “encourage everyone to RISE above the evil and sin in this world and be a positive shining light in the lives of others.” The ultimate goal for the foundation is to motivate people through his words and actions, through his stories and his relationships.
He also visits Buttonwood Special Needs Home and has bonded with one member in particular, Mike, by spending time about once per week. He is also a Big Brother to Kayden, who was battling leukemia but is in remission. After originally meeting in April, Risner and Kayden have spent time together on multiple occasions.
The Jason Witten Collegiate man of the Year is the first college football honor to focus primarily on player’s leadership, both on and off the field. The inaugural award was presented to UCF’s Shaquem Griffin last February.
The winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year will also receive a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife, Michelle. The SCORE Foundation, founded in 2007, has positively impacted tens of thousands of children and families in Texas and Tennessee over the last 11 years.