On October 1, I received an email from Mr. Kenneth Nixon while serving his country in Afghanistan. In the email it mentioned seven factors that he and his family would use to determine where his Xavier Nixon would attend college. They are: trust, loyalty, honesty, dedication, determination, commitment and last but not least love. I spoke with both Mr. and Mrs. Nixon this morning on the way to the Army All-American Game in San Antonio.
Mr. Nixon: "I went online and started doing some research and I read a lot of information about Florida after my wife and son made a visit to Gainesville. My wife and I come from a very loving family and we can't live without that being a part of our son's life. We want to set an example for our son and his son and for generations after that and we knew fairly early in this process that Florida showed us all of those things and then some."
Mrs. Nixon: "Florida showed all of us that they cared about what we cared about and embraced the exact same traits that we teach our son everyday. The values in which we live our lives are very important to us and that is the key link between the Nixon family and the University of Florida."
It is no secret that recruiting is about relationships and the Florida staff showed the Nixon family that they were willing to put in the time to establish those relationships and each and every email, phone call or visit those relationships grew even stronger on both sides.
Mrs. Nixon: "I think the entire Florida staff is filled with gentlemen. Coach Meyer, Coach Carter and Coach Adazzio were there every time we needed them to be. When they were allowed to make contact they did and we appreciated that. Another key component was even though my husband was out of the country, Coach Carter always sent any emails to "team Nixon" so that my husband could be a part of the process and see and read everything that we were getting. Florida is very family oriented and that's what we love about them."
Mr. Nixon: "That's what we have in common, Florida and I. While I am over fighting a war they are working together as a team, there is no I in the word team and through great coaching you can be successful at any level. It's one of the many things that we love about Florida. Like my wife mentioned I was copied on every email that Florida ever sent out and I can't tell you how much that meant to me. I was very happy with the recruiting process and the way Florida went about it."
As was the case with another high profile recruit the decision making process for the Nixon family has been over for a while.
Mrs. Nixon: "I would say after our second visit because when we got home X told me that he wanted to be a Gator and he wanted to go to Florida. We talked about Florida the entire way home in the car. When we told my husband the one thing that he insisted on was that X looks Coach Meyer in the eyes and tells him man to man his intentions of being a Gator and that's what he did on the LSU trip."
Mr. Nixon: "I knew shortly after that second trip through my wife and X that he was going to be a Gator and if you can make my wife happy then you made the entire "team Nixon" happy.
The Nixon Family left with this last statement, "He is extremely excited to be a part of such an outstanding organization, team and family. Go Gators."
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