When Maryland assistant coach Lyndon Johnson went down to Lynn Haven, Florida to check out A. Crawford Mosley High's spring football game, Nat Dixon was not even on his radar. By the time Johnson left, Dixon picked up his first big time football offer.
"A coach from Maryland (Johnson) came down to look at someone else and he noticed me," said Dixon, who plays both wide receiver and defensive back. "My coach told me at the end of the first quarter that I had an offer from Maryland."
"I was pretty insane to get that news. I didn't know what to think in the beginning, especially getting an offer from a big school like that," Dixon said.
"I had not heard from them (Maryland) at all so it was just crazy."
Although Dixon has been hearing from several schools, such as Florida and Florida State, Maryland is the first Division I program to offer the 6-foot-5, 175-pound athlete.
"They showed interest in me before any of these other schools and that really means something to me," Dixon said. "I know they have a great program up there and I always hear great things about it."
Dixon is already somewhat familiar with the Terps program thanks to some family ties in the area as well as fellow Florida native and 2013 Maryland commit Chandler Burkett.
"I grew up playing football with Chandler Burkett and he talked to me about the school and everything. He was asking me how I felt about it and what the chances were that I might head up there with him," Dixon said. "Plus, my dad actually has a lot of family in Baltimore too."
Dixon has also caught a couple of Maryland games on TV.
"I know they are a good team and they like to throw the ball and everyone knows about their jerseys, those are pretty awesome," Dixon said. "I am not sure yet but it is looking pretty intriguing."
Dixon paid special attention to Maryland's talented wide out, Stefon Diggs.
"He is one of those guys I look up to," Dixon said. "Diggs is definitely a player I would want to be like."
So exactly how did Dixon catch Coach Johnson's eye?
Dixon is quite the athletic specimen. Dixon is a four-sport athlete and not only does he participate in four sports, he excels at them. In addition to football, Dixon placed third in Florida in the high jump, plays center field in baseball and runs the point on his hoops team. It is not hard to imagine how an elite high jumper and basketball player grabbed the attention of a college coach.
In fact, Dixon is also being recruited by Division I programs for basketball and is considering playing basketball in college or even trying to be a two-sport collegiate athlete.
"This year has been a pretty crazy year for me. I have been getting pulled both ways by all these schools," said Dixon, who has already talked to both Clemson and South Carolina about playing both sports at the next level. "I am pretty sure I could handle going to college for dual sports and keep my grades up. I believe I have the work ethic."
Although now that Maryland has extended an offer for football, Dixon said he might be ready to reconsider.
"I think about it every day. Then every day more and more interest is coming at me for football; so I am just starting to lean towards that (playing football)," Dixon said. "Especially getting an offer from a big time program like Maryland."
Dixon said there are several important factors he is looking for in his future program.
‘' The big things for me are the campus; like how I feel and if I can see myself adjusting to the campus. The academic program also because that is a big part for my family," said Dixon, who hopes to pursue a degree in either pre-law or criminal justice. "The last big factor is the coaches, just meeting and talking to the staff."
The Mosley wide out hopes to make it up to Maryland for a camp this summer and already has plans to come up for an AAU basketball tournament hosted by the DC Assault.
"Committing could be an option for me, I know I would think about it a lot but I am pretty sure I would," Dixon said. "Maryland definitely falls in my top two right now, but I have to pray about it and talk to my family and I know God will lead me in the right direction."
Maryland is competing against Florida for the top spot on Dixon's list and he already visited Florida State for the Seminoles spring game. Dixon has also been hearing from South Carolina, Clemson, Middle Tennessee, Troy, Kentucky and USF.
Dixon said right now he is just focused on preparing for the busy summer ahead. The multi-sport athlete has a full slate of AAU Tournaments and one-day football camps on his schedule. Dixon welcomes the opportunities and is not afraid of the challenge.
"I love being in the gym everyday and playing a lot of sports. They all kind of help me in different ways," Dixon said. "When I play football I know it gives me that physical edge and when I am playing basketball it puts me above the rest because I know I am going to be that guy that is going to tough it out and go for that loose ball. It gives me a mental edge going from football to basketball."
Dixon Blown Away by Terps Offer
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