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Utes Insider – Former Utah and NFL wide receiver Kevin Dyson

Oct 28, 2020

(Episode 20 – October 28, 2020)
Utes Insider – Former Utah and NFL wide receiver Kevin Dyson
 
One of just eight first round draft picks in Utah football history, former NFL wide receiver Kevin Dyson drops by to join Mike Lageschulte on this edition of Utes Insider. Dyson, who was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection for the Utes from 1994-97, remains Utah's all-time leader in receptions and was taken by Tennessee Titans in 1998. He played in two Super Bowls during his six-year NFL career, but perhaps is best known for taking part in some of the most memorable plays in Utah and NFL history. Dyson dives into the stories behind those plays during the show.
 
The podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. All Utah Athletics podcasts are archived here.

Raised in Clinton, Utah, as the oldest of four children by a predominantly single mother, Dyson boasted to his mom that he would one day play in the NBA and buy her a house. His mother, Susan Hall, did not dismiss Kevin's dream, but rather encouraged him to also focus on getting a college degree. Dyson did just that, and as it turned out, his road to the professional ranks traveled across the gridiron instead of the hardwood.
 
Dyson developed into an all-state defensive back for Clearfield High School, leading his team to the 1992 Utah 4A championship. On national signing day, Dyson's choice came down to Utah and Arizona State. During the podcast, Dyson explains that his mother's trust in head coach Ron McBride and receivers coach Fred Graves led to him becoming a Ute.
 

 
Following a redshirt year at Utah, Dyson quickly worked his way into the receiver rotation in 1994. While it was just the start of things for Dyson, his name would become part of Utah football lore before his first season came to a close.
 
Heading into Utah's 1994 Freedom Bowl match-up against No. 15 Arizona and its famed "Desert Swarm" defense, the Utes were looking for the school's first 10-win season. With Utah trailing Arizona 13-9 late in the fourth quarter, Dyson made a miraculous, one-handed grab of a desperation heave from quarterback Mike McCoy on fourth-and-goal, scoring a touchdown to give the Utes a 16-13 victory. The play would come to be known as "The Catch."
 
Dyson shared during the interview he believes the pass from McCoy might not have been intended for him, but rather Curtis Marsh.
 

 
Dyson's career soared from there. As a junior in 1996, he was voted Utah's Most Valuable Offensive Player by his teammates and named first-team all-WAC. He led the Utes with 53 catches for 812 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. He also expanded his role by becoming Utah's top kickoff returner.
 
Dyson was voted a team captain in 1997 and earned first-team all-WAC honors once again, this time as both a wide receiver and kick returner. He had career-best totals of 60 receptions for 824 yards, and led the team in both kick returns and punt returns.
 
Dyson still holds Utah's all-time record with 192 career receptions and is second with 2,726 receiving yards. He was taken No. 16 overall by Tennessee in the 1998 NFL Draft, becoming the Utes' fourth first-round pick all-time.
 
In his second NFL season, Dyson was involved in two of the more memorable plays in pro football history. During a Wild Card Playoff game against Buffalo on Jan. 8, 2000, 16 seconds remained when Dyson received a lateral from Frank Wycheck and ran 75 yards for the game-winning touchdown. His late-game heroics were dubbed the "Music City Miracle."
 
Dyson discusses the intricacies of the play, how some personnel changes late in the game put him on the field in that situation, and what was going through his mind on his way to the end zone.
 

 
Dyson also discusses the heartbreak he experienced three weeks later with time running down in Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams, when he caught a potential game-tying TD pass but was tackled just one yard shy of the goal line.
 
Dyson played with the Titans through the 2002 season. He moved on to the Carolina Panthers in 2003 and played in Super Bowl XXXVIII. He was acquired by San Diego in 2004 and signed with Washington in 2005. In a six-year NFL career, Dyson finished 178 catches for 2,325 yards and 18 touchdowns.
 
Dyson received his bachelor's degree in sociology from the U. in 1997 and earned two master's degrees in education from Trevecca Nazarene University. Kevin and his wife, LaRosa Truth, reside in Franklin, Tenn. They have two children, Genesis Emree (9) and Korynne Elyse (7). He also has two other daughters, Deyja Breonna (25) and Lundyn Grace (19).
 
After his playing career ended, Dyson became a high school football coach and administrator, and in 2010 became the head coach at Independence High School in Thompson's Station, Tenn. He also worked as the assistant principal and athletics director at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tenn. Dyson has earned his doctorate in education with a focus on leadership and professional practice, and is currently the principal at Grassland Middle School. He is the pre-and postgame analyst for the Tennessee Titans Radio Network and 104.5 The Zone, and serves as a mentor by speaking avidly to youth in the Nashville metro area.