"I joke a lot and they didn't think I was serious," Dickson told The Territory. "When I told my coach that I was serious, he said, ‘Sure, go for it.'"
Well, Dickson went for it, selecting the Seminoles over the Hurricanes and giving the Seminoles one of their best surprises on signing day. Dickson, a three-year starter who is considered one of the South's top defensive line prospects, is FSU's first signee out of the Miami area since Willie Jones two years ago.
Dickson, who had orally committed to UM in late January, said he decided to attend FSU 15 minutes before actually signing the scholarship papers. Dickson credited the Seminoles' coaching staff for making the biggest difference, pointing to defensive line coach Odell Haggins and recruiting coordinator John Lilly.
"When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I had FSU, UF, and UM on my mind. FSU won out," Dickson said.
"There was something about FSU, all of the players. I just followed my heart. Certain players (Willie Jones and Travis Johnson) at FSU stood out. It's like a family. The atmosphere felt real good in Tallahassee. Odell Haggins was one of the reasons why I chose FSU. He's straight up. He was a big-part. Coach Lilly made a favorable impression. He's a small-town funny guy."
Dickson, of course, is a big-time, impact player. The 6-5, 285-pounder has clocked a 4.8 40 with a vertical jump of 36 inches. Many recruiting pundits believe Dickson has more upside than any player in the state. When motivated and focused, Dickson was nearly unblockable on the prep level.
Dickson finished his senior season with 108 tackles, 14 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also caught three touchdowns and five two-point conversions as a tight end. Dickson is on track to fully qualify with a 930 on the SAT. He plans on arriving in Tallahassee in June for early preseason workouts.
Of course, such news will bring a smile to any FSU fan.