Dimude's chance to help carry Warriors Running game makes pitch for bigger role
By Ferd Lewis
It was a fast-developing hole and running back Chizzy Dimude hit it even faster, exploding for a first down in last night's Warrior Bowl scrimmage.
His first carry could have been a metaphor for Dimude's senior year at the University of Hawai'i, where no window of opportunity is too small to be seized and there is no time to waste in doing it.
After being sparingly used in 2009 and then being slowed by a groin injury much of this spring, Dimude is making the most of his chances.
He is, so to speak, taking the ball and running with it. Last night, for example, he produced 52 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Dimude's first — and longest — run, a 28-yard bolt, produced the second loudest cheer of the night from the assembled 1,000 or so fans at the Clarence T. C. Ching Athletic Complex, where the Warriors wrapped up spring practice .
No. 1 was the news of the Rainbow Wahine's 5-0 victory over Fresno State that clinched the Western Athletic Conference regular-season softball championship.
There was much for UH football coaches to cheer, too. "He's doing everything possible to get out there and be a difference-maker for us," said offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich.
So if the groin injury wasn't completely healed, it wasn't about to stop Dimude, whose first name is short for "Chizimuzo" which he says means "God showed me the way" in Igbo, the language of his Nigerian ancestors.
For Dimude, "after that first (28-yard) run I was a little sore but I was running on adrenaline," he said. "But, I'm here to make the most of my opportunities."
Indeed, last year as a junior college transfer from Hayward, Calif., he found himself overshadowed and underutilized behind returning starter Leon Wright-Jackson and fellow transfer Alex Green. That meant but 11 carries spread over six games and no touchdowns.
"It was frustrating but I wasn't mad about it; I just tried to hold my head up," Dimude said. "Now, this is my senior year so I'm not holding anything back. I'm putting everything into it."
It has been the kind of performance that suggests the Warriors will be blessed with a 1-2 combination at running back with Green and Dimude, who both scored touchdowns in the scrimmage . While the 6-foot, 2-inch, 230-pound Green provides the crunch, Dimude, who is 5-feet, 9 inches and 190 pounds, operates with elusiveness.
Green celebrated his touchdown with a high-bouncing spike of the ball in the end zone that drew a penalty flag.
Dimude punctuated his with a smile of satisfaction for an opportunity realized.