Lions sign Dizon to 4-year deal

The Detroit Lions signed outside linebacker Jordon Dizon to a four-year contract yesterday, the end of the first week of training camp.

Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

The Waimea High School and University of Colorado graduate who was drafted by the Lions in the second round — the highest of any player from Kaua‘i — did not participate in any training camp practices until yesterday’s two-a-day sessions. He and the Lions reached an agreement deal in between the two practices.

Head Coach Rod Marinelli said at the post-practice media session that the key for Dizon to get better is to show up to the practices.

“It’s tough because the things we cover in detail are hard to repeat. It’s catch-up now. It’s just catch-up,” Marinelli said.

Prior to Dizon being drafted, he was arrested for driving under the influence in Colorado. The Lions weren’t made aware of it until last month, but Marinelli said they are still sticking with him for the team.

“We did not know about Jordan … I don’t like surprises and I was surprised. I think there’s a real issue in terms of, he’s not a bad guy,” Marinelli said earlier this week. “There’s a difference between a bad guy and a guy that’s made a mistake. The one thing he did that really impressed me is he called me at home immediately and we had a nice long talk. I’ll tell you what, I stand side-by-side with him because he’s got football character, he loves this stuff and he made a mistake. Now we just got to move on.”

While at Colorado, Dizon once led the nation in solo stops (120), was second in the nation for total tackles (160) and was named the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year.

He was also named to the first-team All-Big 12, to the Walter Camp All-America First Team and finished second for the Dick Butkus Award given to the top college football linebacker.

Dizon, 22, graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He joins Ikaika Alama-Francis as the second player from Hawai‘i on the Lions squad this year.

Alama-Francis, who played for the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, was also drafted in the second round.

Now in his second year, he said he was more confident heading into camp.

“My first practice was a lot better than last year,” said defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis at a press conference. “This year at the beginning of camp I am really excited and I know what to expect. Just being around these guys for a year really helps you out. You’re confident and just back in it. I can go into it focusing on what I need to focus on, know what I’ve got to do and get better at it.”

Kapa‘a’s Brennen Carvalho is another football player entering the NFL this year. He was signed as a free agent for the Green Bay Packers and left for training camp yesterday.

Packers players should be moving into their dorms today with training camp starting on Monday.

• Lanaly Cabalo, sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com

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