Unfortunately so far for Dixon, he has not been able to drop enough weight and has been demoted at times to the third team in practice, a punishment that is especially severe considering that Dixon was a starter for most of last season.
"Coach [Shannon] wants me to lose weight and I really respect him for that," he said. "I just have to keep on pushing it. My teammates are also pushing me to drop a few more pounds." "I worked hard, man. I worked hard all summer. The whole team did. We just have to keep on pushing."
Dixon has been watching what he is eating and has been taking part in extra conditioning drills with Coach Swasey along with several other linemen who are overweight.
"I don't eat at night time no more," Dixon said. "I stopped all the night time eating. I drink a lot of water. Coach Swasey takes me and some of the team and we do some extra conditioning. Treadmill, everything."
"I was raised …I mean, my momma fed me. I'm the biggest person in my own family. Everyone else is small. When I got here my freshman year, Coach Shannon told me to drop the pounds. It's a hard job for all the big guys to keep losing weight but we just have to keep on pushing it."
Dixon's efforts so far should not be overlooked. 30 lbs. is a lot of weight to lose, even for someone as massive as he is. There is no question that he is extremely physically gifted, but at times during the last two seasons, his lack of conditioning would hurt him late in games. Coach Shannon clearly wants to be able to get more plays out of Dixon, and Dixon's response so far has been a positive one despite the demotion. While he may still be over his target weight, he's clearly been making progress, and he's in good spirits about his situation.
"It doesn't matter who starts because we rotate so much that everyone's gonna eat," Dixon said about the possibility of not starting.
If it sounds like he's raising the white flag or settling for less, he's definitely not. This offseason, Shannon has really stressed a team first mentality, and it has really rubbed off on the players. Dixon displayed a team-first mentality when he was asked about the scrimmage today.
"I think it went well on both sides, I mean, we had a lot of penalties on both sides, and we have to correct that. The effort was there, the enthusiasm was there, and both sides competed."
When asked about his individual performance, Dixon started to say that he ‘played alright,' but his voice tailed off before he finished his sentence and he replaced that statement with a new one:
"The whole team played good, and that's all I can say about that."