Dakota Diessner has committed to the U.S. Air Force Academy in hopes of continuing his impressive “run” on the football field.
The Durant senior - who amassed nearly 3,000 yards as one of the Lions’ top running backs in school history – signed a “certificate of intent” on Wednesday with his parents and sisters by his side.
“I’m excited about taking it to the next level,” Diessner said. “I love the environment up there. The coaching staff was a big part of it as well. I’m looking to be a running back but they are going to put me at inside receiver at first.”
He becomes the first Durant Lion to commit to an NCAA Division 1 football team since Dustin Taylor in 1995. Durant Coach Byron Cordell called the accomplishment “well deserved.”
“Dakota is a great kid, a great leader, and a great player,” Cordell said. “He’s very deserving. He is proof that hard work pays off.
“He has made himself into a very good player,” Cordell said. “He’ll do fine at the next level.”
He was a three-year starter on both sides of the football for the Lions, collecting nearly 40 touchdowns as a rusher.
Diessner signed his certificate of intent to join the Falcons (6-7 in 2012 with a bowl appearance) in the Durant High School “commons” with parents Greg and Mary Jo Diessner and sister Lexi at his side, and coaches and supporters behind him.
“You can’t make it anywhere as a running back without the line,” Diessner said as an homage to his O-line teammates. “And the offensive coordinator and Coach Cordell have been great. They are the ones who call the plays which got me the ball.”
The Wednesday announcement was part of National Signing Day, but the Air Force Academy was procedurally forced to distance itself from its own recruits.
“Due to the Academy appointment process, names of recruited student-athletes will not be released until they arrive on campus this summer. Air Force coaches and administrators are not allowed to comment about recruits due to the Privacy Act, therefore head football coach Troy Calhoun is not available to discuss any specifics about recruits,” reads a statement on the team’s website.
“Many high school student-athletes will participate in signing days and appear to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) with the Air Force Academy, but they are actually signing a Certificate of Intent which is a non-binding agreement that signifies an athlete’s commitment to follow through with the appointment process and allows them to participate in signing day for publicity purposes. The Academy is a non-scholarship institution and doesn’t use the National Letter of Intent, as most civilian schools do.”
Diessner plans to graduate as a second lieutenant and must also commit to a five year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force.