Dixon makes tough call, but follows heart

After an early commitment to South Florida in August, Kevin Dixon opened up the recruiting process and took some visits. The commitment to USF was a high hurdle for anyone to get over to get through to Dixon because of how close it was to home and the relationship he had with a coach. The only school to get an official from Dixon other than USF was Nebraska.

School is starting up again for spring semester and Kevin Dixon just made it back to Garden City. The 6-foot-4 and 275-pound defensive tackle had an eventful holiday vacation.

"I am back in Kansas," Dixon said. "I left Wednesday morning. I had to go to Orlando to catch my flight the night before."

While watching the BCS Championship game, Dixon pondered his division one future. He and his family gathered around the TV while he sat there in thought and cheered for the home team.

"We were sitting down watching the national championship with my family. We were rooting for the Gators just because we are from Florida."

"I was just thinking that I couldn't wait until I get on TV. I was thinking about who was the best fit for me, just giving it some thought, and it just so happened that Nebraska called."

During that time of thought a phone call came from one of the division one schools that were recruiting him. Nebraska was on the phone and were curious if he was going to take another visit.

"They were just calling to see how I was doing, checking up with me. It was just unexpected. He asked if I was going to visit Louisville still and I told him that I was."

As Dixon and the coach from Nebraska carried on their conversation, he started to think again about where he really wanted to be. He knew where it was and didn't want to waste anymore time.

"The longer I sat there thinking about taking other visits and about recruiting I just thought I was wasting my time when I know where my heart is at. So, I just told him I wanted to commit."

Coach Kevin Cosgrove from Nebraska was key in the recruitment of Dixon to Nebraska. He is the coach that Dixon had some time to sit down and talk football with following the game on his official visit.

"I had formed a good relationship when I went on the visit. I sat down with him the next day after they played Colorado and spent some time with him. We have had a real good relationship from the start."

Not only did Cosgrove impress Dixon in Lincoln, but when Cosgrove showed up on the Dixon's doorsteps in Florida the conversation continued like it never stopped from Lincoln. All the while, not talking about anything but Nebraska.

"When he came to visit me in my home, during the break, and got a chance to meet my family; my mom really liked him. Coach Cosgrove really is a great guy and doesn't talk down on other programs."

"He would only talk about Nebraska; about the team, about the academics and was real up-front with everything. That really caught the attention of my mom. She really appreciated that."

Dixon's mom came to appreciate the emphasis at Nebraska is that the players leave with a degree. Knowing the values that Nebraska had and Cosgrove's personality led to a good relationship between Nebraska and Dixon's family as well.

"She really likes the high graduation rate that Nebraska has with their football players. They developed a good relationship and they literally spoke for hours and hours."

The idea that Nebraska didn't have to negatively recruit against any schools had an impact on his decision. He appreciated the idea that a school was trying to sell what they had and not what the other guy didn't have.

"Yeah I did, but not a lot in some cases. Just mentioning another school to me though was enough. Coach Cosgrove never brought up another school. He wanted to talk about his program and what it had to offer. It took care of itself."

Dixon had to make the call to South Florida to break his commitment. A commitment that he has had since August. From the tone in his voice, you could tell that it wasn't easy for him to do especially with an old coach now at USF.

"They were pretty down. My mom talked to them too. One of the coaches, a GA there, used to be my high school coach. Larry Scott, the GA, was pretty upset, but my mom go to talking with him and he came to what was best was that I be happy with my decision."

Dixon's plan right now is to get up to Lincoln as early as he can this summer. Before he can officially move to Lincoln though, Dixon is thinking that he might head up there to support his future team mates during their spring game.

"I am going to try and make it up there for the spring game. I don't know when it is for sure. I am going to try and make it up though."


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