Florida State offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons was announced as a Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award semifinalist on Wednesday.
The Jason Witten award is given annually to exemplary players who show integrity and character on and off the field. Gibbons has recently been named a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy Award and has earned numerous ACC honors throughout the season.
Gibbons founded Big Man, Big Heart, becoming one of the first college athletes to use his name, image, and likeness for charitable reasons. Originally founded to help his friend Timothy Donovan’s family to cover a trip to Tallahassee, TakeTimothytoTally received over $89k of donations to help cover Timothy’s medical expenses, and Big Man, Big Heart has raised over $425K in support for other charitable causes. Most recently, he and his teammates used his foundation to help out Hurricane Ian survivors who lost their homes during that tragic event.
The winner of the award will be announced on February 23, 2023, and will receive a 10,000-dollar donation to their school's academic 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 15 years. The foundation operates its nationally-recognized SCOREkeepers program, which places trained male mentors on staff to work with children at family violence shelters, at nine shelters in the two states.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons is one of 20 semifinalists for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, it was announced Wednesday. The award, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, is the first college football honor to focus primarily on a player’s leadership, both on and off the field. Leadership is a term synonymous with Jason Witten, who, in addition to becoming one of the best tight ends in the history of the sport, served as one of football’s most prominent role models during his 16-year pro career. In addition to winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2012, Witten also received the Bart Starr Award, Pro Football Weekly’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP and the Bob Lilly Award, among many others. All of those honors have recognized his work in the community, achievements on the field and dedication to his teammates and family.
Gibbons, who is a member of the 2022 Allstate Good Works Team and was recently named a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy after being named to the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Team last season, has established a non-profit foundation to raise funds for those in need. His foundation partners with collegiate ambassadors across college football and connects with charitable causes they are passionate about, including those with special medical needs, shopping with children in the community and repairing damage caused by natural disasters.
This season, Gibbons has helped lead an offensive line that has blocked for one of the ACC’s most efficient and explosive offenses. Florida State leads the nation with 75 plays of at least 20 yards and ranks third nationally in explosive play differential, boasting an offensive explosive play rate of 16.62 percent. The offense’s 15 touchdown drives of 80-plus yards are the most in the country, and the seven touchdown drives covering 90 or more yards are second nationally. FSU is 10th in the nation with an average of 6.89 yards per play and 16th in the country averaging 477.1 yards of total offense per game. Florida State is the only team in the ACC, and one of four in the nation, averaging at least 260 passing yards and 210 rushing yards per game. FSU leads the ACC in yards per rush and rushing yards per game, averaging 5.53 yards per rush to rank 11th in the nation and 213.6 rushing yards per game to rank 16th, and have eclipsed 200 rushing yards in five straight games, the program’s longest streak since 1995.
Gibbons has started 21 games at left guard, including all 10 this year, for the Seminoles since transferring prior to the 2021 season. He was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2021 and was named to the All-ACC Academic Team and ACC Honor Roll as he helped block for an offense that converted 32 consecutive red zone trips into points to end the season. Florida State ranked first in the ACC and sixth nationally with a red zone touchdown percentage of 73.8 and third in the conference and 15th in the country with a 90.5 red zone scoring percentage. He was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week following FSU’s 35-25 win at North Carolina when the Seminoles rushed for 238 yards and did not allow a sack or have a turnover and earned his second career conference lineman of the week recognition after FSU’s 45-3 win at Miami earlier this season.
Finalists for the 2022 award will be announced Dec. 14, and the winner is set to be announced at a ceremony on Feb. 23, 2023. 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.
Florida State hosts Louisiana on Saturday at noon and ends its regular season by hosting Florida on Friday, Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.