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Dewitt wraps up stellar football career

| Monday, Dec. 8, 2008

Lawbreakers had better hope that D.J. Dewitt's football aspirations come to fruition. If not, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound lineman will be after them.

Dewitt, a criminal justice major at Waynesburg University, said he will embark on a future in law enforcement if his hopes for a career in football aren't realized. But based on his collegiate achievements, Dewitt's football prospects look good.

The senior defensive lineman, a Connellsville Area High School graduate, was named a preseason all-American prior to this season. Dewitt also was selected as the Presidents' Athletic Conference defensive player of the week in September and has garnered Eastern College Athletic Conference honors in previous years. His latest accolade came in November, when Dewitt earned a spot on the first team of the all-PAC football team.

"It's an honor. It's more of a team honor, I think, than an individual honor," Dewitt said. "Without (my teammates) around me, it would have been unattainable."

The selection marks the third time that Dewitt has earned all-PAC honors. He was an honorable mention as a sophomore before making the first team last season.

During his career at Waynesburg University, Dewitt tallied 22 1/2 sacks and 42 tackles for a loss. His breakout season came in 2007, when he amassed 19 1/2 tackles for a loss of 103 yards, as well as 10 1/2 sacks. During his senior season, he tacked on 17 1/2 tackles for a loss and 12 1/2 sacks despite what Dewitt said was a bit of a slow start.

"I had the sense where I felt like I needed to be a team leader," he said. "I was too focused on being a leader at the beginning of the year, rather than doing my actual job."

Dewitt said he has numerous memories of playing football for the Yellow Jackets, including his first start as a freshman and last season's game against Grove City, in which he set a team record with 4 1/2 sacks. He plans to remain involved in the sport if possible, whether as a player or a coach.

"I'm going to test the waters in the Arena League," he said.

If he doesn't move on to professional football, Dewitt said he hopes to become a coach at Waynesburg or apply to join the state police. But no matter which path he takes, Dewitt said he appreciates everything his teammates and coaches have done.

"I want to say thanks to all my coaches," he said. "A lot of the accomplishments that we get, if they know we're close (to a milestone), they'll modify plays so we can get it. They try to help us out."

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