News came out today that Utah football senior center J.J. Dielman will miss the rest of the season with an apparent foot injury suffered in Saturday’s 28-23 loss at Cal. Since Dielman was hurt in the fifth game of the year, he will not be eligible for a medical redshirt. Dielman was second-team All-Pac-12 in 2015 playing right tackle. He made the move to center during the offseason due to the career ending injury to center Hiva Lutui. This is certainly a tough blow to a Utah offensive line that was starting to dominate opposing front sevens.
The big question now is who starts at center? The center position is responsible for not just snapping the ball but also making blocking adjustments. It is one of if not the most important positions on the offensive line. Junior Lo Falemaka got better as the game went along at Cal, so he could be the replacement. Utah could also decide to slide over a guard like Isaac Asiata to center to have a player with more game experience playing at the position.
Below is the full press release from the University:
Utah center J.J. Dielman is lost for the season with a lower leg injury suffered early in the first quarter of last Saturday’s game at California. The senior, a second-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2015, has started every game for the past three seasons. He played right tackle his sophomore and junior years before moving to center this season. Dielman, who was injured on Utah’s sixth offensive play against Cal, has not allowed a sack this season in 300 total plays.
He redshirted in 2012 and appeared in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2013.
Dielman is the fourth starter Utah has lost for the season and the second center. He switched from tackle to center in the spring when projected starter Hiva Lutui suffered a career-ending injury. Also lost for the season are senior tight end Siale Fakailoatonga and senior defensive end Kylie Fitts.