Bigger, Stronger, Faster Spartan on the Way

Dana Dixon will be working hard to prepare his body for the next level. GSN caught up with the 2009 MSU commit, who says, like any fan hooked on the Green & White, he can't wait for that Penn State game in a week and a half.

Dana Dixon's Detroit Renaissance team didn't achieve what he wanted it to (they finished 5-4), but at least he's got Michigan State to cheer for.

"I expected to first go to the city playoffs and then the state playoffs, but it didn't happen," the 2009 student-athlete said. The defense needed to adjust to a new scheme, Dixon noted, but time with friends on the field is never wasted.

On the field, Dixon himself showed why Michigan State is welcoming him in on scholarship. During games, he spent half the time diving for balls and moving chains as a wide receiver, the other half cracking pads and snagging errant passes as a corner.

Dixon noticed his defensive game improving throughout his senior season, evidenced by his four interceptions, a few of which were returned for big yards.

His senior performance on defense is likely one of the driving factors behind recent conversations with Spartan coaches about potential college positions.

"I'm still not one-hundred percent sure, but lately we've been talking more about playing secondary," he said.

But the fact remains: This staff believes in versatile athletes with nimble minds who can learn and adapt to new positions at the drop of a hat. Dixon fits the mold as one of those players who very well could start out at one position and end up in another, so the moniker of athlete is probably the most accurate.

"I'm focused mostly on getting ready for college," Dixon said, although he will practice with the winter track team and compete in spring track.

"That's what I did last year," he said, "I ran track and I think it made me a lot faster on the field this year, so I plan to keep doing that."

Dixon's fastest 40-yard dash time is 4.4, and he said keeping that time while adding bulk will be a goal.

"I'm just trying to maintain my speed and get bigger, keeping my speed," he said.

One avenue he'll pursue to prepare for the next level is at his future college, which might be able to provide some structure and resources.

"I'm going to talk with the strength and conditioning coach (Ken Mannie) to hopefully get some workouts so I can be on my way toward getting ready for college," Dixon said.

When I mentioned Mannie's intense demeanor, Dixon gave what seemed to be a knowing laugh. "I mean, they say he's crazy, but I'll see for myself."

Like any MSU aficionado, Dixon's been watching the success of the team closely. "Just waiting for that Penn State game now," he said with the eagerness of a true fan.

He's been to numerous games this season and wished he had the chance to see PSU. He was in Spartan Stadium two weeks ago when State beat Wisconsin in a memorable comeback.

"I stayed to the end and the crowd was real loud at the end," he said. An image he'll work hard to maintain in the next four to five years.

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