Voting is now open for this year’s edition of ESPN The Magazine’s “Next” issue and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson has earned a nod as a candidate in the Action Sports division. “Next” has been a tradition of the magazine since 1998 and is where athletes on the verge of hero status are determined. Check out ESPN’s blurb on why the 2011 AMA 250 Motocross champion is set to blow:
Dean Wilson is a new man — or at least a man with two new shoulders. And that makes him an even bigger threat than he was in April, when he went down after colliding with rival Eli Tomac at the Supercross Lites West Region, separating his right shoulder. “It was really heartbreaking for me,” Wilson says. “I worked my whole life to get that No. 1 plate. My shoulder just popped out, and I knew then I couldn’t race the whole season with the way it was.” Wilson decided to have surgery and figured while he was at it, he’d fix his left shoulder, which he’d injured in 2011. He’s healthy now and as fired up as ever for the new season. In 2013, he will make his much-anticipated AMA Motocross debut on a 450, but first Wilson has some unfinished business. “It’s really important for me to win a Supercross Lites championship,” he says. “That’s something I’ve always wanted. I haven’t achieved it yet, and I have one last year to make it happen.” — Derek Taylor
Is Dean Wilson capable of besting Chad Kerley, Mark McMorris, Arielle Gold, and Luan Oliveira for “NEXT” honors? You can determine that. Voting for this and a list of other categories is open now at http://espn.go.com/espn/next.