Duke senior in the running to be named the nation’s top defensive player


Duke University defensive end Victor Dimukeje, a graduate of Boys’ Latin School, has been selected to the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the outstanding defensive player in college football.

This is Dimukeje’s second career selection on the Bednarik Award Watch List. A Second-Team All-ACC recipient last season, Dimukeje has started all 38 games he’s played in. He has compiled 122 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 14.0 sacks, one interception, three caused fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and 23 quarterback pressures. In his 2,043 career snaps, he owns 24 games with 3+ tackles and eight outings with 5+ stops, including a career-high eight tackles against Wake Forest in 2019.

Dimukeje, a rising senior, is one of three defensive players in Duke history to start multiple bowl game victories (2017 Quick Lane & 2018 Walk-On’s Independence), joining safety Michael Carter II and linebacker Ben Humphreys. He is also one of nine Blue Devils in program history to have recovered a fumble in a bowl game.

The Baltimore native is currently tied with Vince Oghobaase for sixth all-time in Duke’s career sacks chart (14.0) and is nine sacks away from breaking the record. He is also 7.5 tackles for loss away from breaking into Duke’s career top-10 list.

Coming out of high school Dimukeje was a consensus three-star prospect by ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com. He was listed as the No. 36 strong-side defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com and, as a senior, recorded 72 tackles (21 for loss), 10.5 sacks and two caused fumbles to earn USA Today American Family Insurance ALL-USA Maryland Football second-team honors and All-Metro first team accolades. He was selected to play for Team Baltimore in the Crab Bowl following his senior season and was named a 2016 Senior Under Armour ELITE 100 postseason selection. In his junior campaign, Dimukeje registered 42 tackles (8.5 for loss), 7 sacks and two fumble recoveries, while earning All-MIAA B Conference honors.