Five-star OT Enjoys UF Visit

The Floria Gators had a big rivalry matchup last Saturday with Miami and in attendance were dozens of the top prospects from around America. On his official visit to Florida,'s No. 1 offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (6-6, 270) had a good time according to his high school coach Richard Bailey who was on the trip with him.

Bailey and his wife were extremely impressed and said that Xavier and mom were also. According to Bailey the entire trip was eye opening and every time they turned around something memorable seemed to happen.

"My wife and I, Xavier, and his mom went down," Bailey said of the trip from Fayetteville (NC) home of Jack Britt High School where Bailey coaches and Nixon plays. "I know we had a great time and Xavier and his mom really enjoyed it. We got the full experience of game day and there were a bunch highlights to be honest with you."

There was one moment that will be ingrained in his head for a long time according to Bailey. He knows that the moment made a big impression on Nixon as well.

"The biggest thing I thought that was cool is we got to watch the Gator Walk up close," Bailey said. "We walked into the stadium with Tim Tebow right behind us. We walked down into the stadium then across the stadium floor to get to the locker room. Tim was in his suit and tie, but about half way across the field he took his jacket off like he was Superman and threw it over his shoulder. The music was playing..There were probably about 12,000 people in the stadium even though it was early, but Tim turns to Xavier and says 'why would you not come to Florida?'"

"I don't know if that was planned or not, but it sent chills up my spine. I would signed right then if it was up to me."

Nixon and Coach Bailey watched the game and were actually quite in tune to what was going on while the offense had the ball. The offense sputtered a bit, but according to Bailey, Florida's offense may give them a leg up when looking at one school over the others.

"One thing we talk about is that Florida plays our offense," Bailey said. "That was one cool thing about watching the game. He turned to me at the game and said 'hey coach that's dart, that's jet sweep, that's counter,' those were all of our plays. He is going to be asked to do the same thing at Florida that we do at Jack Britt.

"I think the only concern , and it is being used against Florida, that they are a spread offense and they don't play that in the NFL. I don't buy into that. If you can play offensive line, you can play offensive line. If you are a smart player like Xavier is, you can pick up any system. I can tell you that Xavier likes the style of play of Florida because it is very similar to what we do in high school. It is almost the same play book."

Nixon was also paying attention to the players on the field. He is very aware of depth charts and what players are slotted where. According to Bailey, he is not afraid of competition, but he also wants a good chance to play early wherever he goes. Florida will graduate both starting tackles after the season. He also noticed last year's five-star offensive tackle signee playing defense for the Gators on Saturday.

"One thing to note is that Xavier is very aware of what Florida has and he was very excited to see Matt Patchan playing defense because he was a five-star offensive tackle last year...but they have committed to him playing defensive tackle," Bailey said. "They say he is an All-pro type defensive lineman. That also helps with their offensive tackle depth chart."

Outside of the game and the stadium, Nixon and family also felt like they were getting the royal treatment, even from people they never got to formally meet on the trip.

"Obviously you know and a lot of people knew he was coming, but we were touring around campus and a lot of people knew who he was and were yelling out his name," Bailey said. "I think for a 17-18 year old, I thought it was pretty neat and I think he did too."

Xavier's mother, Fotini Nixon is a Sergeant in the Army and has been to many places and seen many things. According to Bailey, she really loved the Gainesville experience. He also said that distance will not be a factor in Nixon's final decision.

"Xavier's mom thought the town was really clean and safe feeling, Bailey said. "We went to the mall to buy some Gator gear and just thought it had a nice safe environment feel to it. I thought that way myself, that it was a great fun loving college town and a great place to raise a family.

"There is no concern about the distance at all. His parents are both military people and they are used to traveling around."

Finally, Sunday rolled around and there was some meeting time with Florida head coach Urban Meyer and family. Bailey said, the whole group from Fayetteville thought favorably of the family atmosphere that permeated the Florida visit until the last moments.

"Sunday morning we got up and ate breakfast with Urban and his wife and a couple of the other coaches," Bailey said. "We spent about an hour eating and talking and then went back to his office and got told why it would be great for Xavier to be a Gator. That was good.

"I know Xavier's mom said several times that she really liked Florida and the family atmosphere they seemed to have. I thought it was neat that all the kids were there and the coaches playing around the office on Saturday before the game."

By all accounts Xavier Nixon, his mom, coach and coach's wife had a very safe, productive, and informative visit to Gainesville for their official visit weekend. The Gators look to be at or near the very top for Nixon during this recruiting process and we will continue to keep up with what is going on with him throughout.

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