VALDOSTA — Former Tift County Blue Devil is among the names set to be inducted into the Valdosta State Athletic Hall of Fame, according to a list released recently by the university.
Dean, who played high school sports for Tift County, was profiled on the list as “[a] defensive juggernaut as a member of the Black Swarm in the first decade of the 2000’s, this inductee led the Blazers in tackles for three years and ranks second all-time in VSU history in the same category. His performance throughout his career was so influential that he was named both an All-American and National Defensive Player of the Year before entering a long professional career in the NFL and CFL.”
He played for Valdosta State from 2007-10. After college, Dean signed as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings. He spent three seasons with the Vikings and one with the Buffalo Bills.
Switching to the Canadian Football League in 2016, Dean played three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In 2019, he joined the Edmonton Eskimos and was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the squad after the season.
Dean was a four-time All-State player for Tift, Associated Press and Atlanta Journal-Constitution awards coming in 2004 and 2005. He was inducted into the Tift County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Valdosta State Hall of Fame brunch ceremony will take place Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. in Valdosta at the Student Union Ballroom, located at 1500 N. Patterson St. The cost is $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at https://community.valdostastate.org/blazerhof.
Other 2020 honorees are Mark Catano, York Kurinsky, Jordan Helton Cary, Morgan Johnson Faulk, Dominique Rothlaender and former women’s basketball coach Charles Cooper.