BYU cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford is proving to be a bulldog of a recruiter. The Los Angeles native was one of the better cornerbacks to play for the BYU Cougars, and he is now proving to be just as a force in the field of recruiting.
“I have been talking to BYU’s [cornerbacks] coach, Coach Gilford, and he keeps it real with you,” said Keisean Nixon, who also hails from Los Angeles and played his prep ball at Paramount High School. “It’s been great talking to him and we keep in contact a lot now since he offered me.”
For Nixon, the BYU offer is big for him despite currently having eight offers on the table. Having played and thrived at BYU himself, Coach Gilford has spoken to Nixon about what a BYU offer truly entails.
“This offer is big for me though,” said Nixon. “I knew about BYU but I didn’t really know much about BYU. Coach Gilford sat there and talked to me about it and it sounds great. It sounds like a good fit.”
When Coach Gilford helped Nixon see more clearly what the scholarship from BYU truly held, Nixon realized then what he had been given but he still wants to do his homework on the Cougars.
“The BYU offer is big for me and I’m still going to do my research,” said Nixon. “I’m going to talk to Coach Gilford more about what BYU has to offer and keep learning from him by keeping in touch. I mean, the BYU offer is big for me.”
The eight offers Nixon currently holds range from the PAC-12, Big 12, and the Mountain West Conference, among others.
“I have [offers from] Colorado State, Cal, Oregon State, BYU, Kansas State, Iowa State, Ball State, and San Diego State,” Nixon said. “BYU is a school that really came out of nowhere and offered me, so I feel really blessed for that.”
Although Keisean Nixon is a cornerback for Arizona Western Community College, he has played on the offensive side of the ball as well for the Matadors.
“I play corner and really label myself as an athlete,” Nixon said. “I kind of do everything. I play offense at my school and I play everything, so I label myself as an athlete but in college I’m going to play corner.”
His size, speed, and ability to recover while locking down his side of the field made him a valuable asset on AWC’s defense last season. This is why Coach Gilford wants him to come to BYU and continue being a lockdown cornerback at the next level.
“I’m 6-0, 200-pounds and I’ve got some speed on me,” said Nixon. “I run a 4.43 forty. Last year I had 16 PBU’s (pass break-ups), five interceptions, and around 47 tackles.”
Being a JUCO transfer, Nixon is looking for early playing time. He understands that nothing will be given to him and that he’ll have to earn it, but he wants to be able to see the field early given the fact he’ll only have two seasons at the FBS level. He wants to play for a program with a large fan base while working towards a degree.
“For me, since I only have two years to play, I want early playing time,” said Nixon. “I know I’ll have to compete though. I also want to play for a team with a big fan base. Then I want to get a degree out of my college experience. I’ll graduate in December and I’m a mid-year [transfer].”
The criteria Nixon is looking for at the next level does make BYU an attractive land spot. BYU has a nationwide fanbase and plays a national schedule. BYU wants to bring Nixon in early for spring ball next year, where he’d compete for a starting job in the Cougar secondary.
“Well, I know nothing is going to be given,” Nixon said. “They want me to come in for next spring. It’s hot down here in Arizona; BYU is cold though. Hot spot, cold spot, I’ll play anywhere.”