All season long, Heppell and Shuey were considered the strong favourites to take out the Ron Evans Medal after earning the first two nominations of the year.
19-year-old Heppell was voted the winner by a panel comprising chairman and AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, AFL general manager football operations Adrian Anderson, AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan and former stars Kevin Bartlett, Danny Frawley, Glen Jakovich, Luke Darcy, Leigh Matthews and Mark Ricciuto.
Heppell did not miss a game this year, playing mainly off half-back and in the midfield. He averaged 21.5 possessions.
After winning the 2010 Morrish Medal for the best and fairest in the TAC Cup, Heppell was touted as a potential top five pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft but slipped through to the Bombers at pick eight.
One of his biggest influences has been his childhood hero and now coach James Hird.
The pair's first meeting came the night before the draft when the Essendon legend visited the Heppell family caravan in Burleigh Heads to get to know the man he hoped to draft.
His guidance and advice was a constant for Heppell throughout the season and was crucial in helping him gather 20 touches and getting a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in his first AFL game against the Bulldogs in round one.
Essendon coach James Hird said Dyson has exceeded expectations in his AFL first season.
Ranked 2nd for Essendon in total disposals for the season
Ranked 3rd for Essendon in total kicks for the season
Ranked 1st for Essendon in total handballs for the season
Ranked 1st for Essendon in total marks for the season
Ranked equal 10th for Essendon in total inside 50s for the season
Ranked equal 8th for Essendon in total goal assists
Ranked 41st for total league disposals
Ranked 65th for total league kicks
Ranked 33rd for total league handballs
Ranked equal 15th for total league marks
One of only seven players to play in all 22 games for Essendon in 2011.
Is the only 2010 National Draftee (first time draftee) to play all 22 games this season.
In a fitting award, Dyson has become the first Essendon player to receive the Ron Evans Medal since the award was instituted in 1993.