Nebraska Walk On: Taylor Dixon

Walking on is a story of sacrifice. Often times it's a sacrifice of playing time and financial assistance that a player could have received at a different school. For Taylor Dixon this goes right past financial assistance and playing time. Dixon actually had an offer that would have guaranteed him a spot into dental school following his undergraduate studies. Now that is sacrifice.

Nebraska has done a terrific job to turn the tides of the in-state players. For about the last four or five years, players like Taylor Dixon might not have gotten a shot to walk on at Nebraska.

The 5-foot-10 and 180-pound Dixon from Wauneta (Nebr.) Wauneta-Palisades was a standout at the summer camps this summer. Dixon turned in a great 40-time of 4.53-seconds at the Husker camp. Dixon is being looked at to play in the defensive secondary, but just where exactly is a bit of a mystery.

"I played safety this past year on defense," Dixon said. "That is the position that I was told by everyone that they were recruiting me to play. That is a position that I am comfortable playing."

"When I was there on the visit, they told me that I was being looked at a safety. I have actually been told since then that they like me as a cornerback. So, I am not sure what to expect now."

Dixon had a monster senior year on defensively, offensively and on special teams. Dixon actually had 179 total tackles of which 41 were unassisted and 138 were assisted. Dixon added five fumble recoveries and three interceptions on defense.

On offense, Dixon had 1,046 yards rushing on 172 attempts for 20 touchdowns. Dixon threw for 1,007 yards on 54-for-102 attempts and added another 15 scores.

Dixon also chipped in on special teams with 17 punting attempts for 555 yards for a 32.6 yard average. On kickoffs, Dixon had a 49.4 yard average and also had five kickoff returns for 247 yards for a 49.4 yard average.

This senior year is impressive, but what might be even more impressive are the numbers that Dixon put up over his career. Dixon had 4482 yards rushing, 2,842 yards passing, 106 unassisted tackles, 332 assisted tackles, seven interceptions and 76 non-throwing touchdowns.

Dixon also has an impressive list of honors dating back all the way to his freshman year of high school. Dixon was a four-time, first-team all-area selection.

As a sophomore Dixon was an honorable mention all-state choice by both the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal Star and was an all-state selection by both papers his junior and senior year. Dixon was also the district offensive MVP his senior year.

Dixon has been as impressive in the classroom as he has been on the gridiron. "I have a 3.75 GPA and my ACT score was a 27. I got academic all-state as well. I didn't get any conference honors for that."

Dixon said that his biggest strength on the football field has to do with his speed. "I would say my speed, I guess. I don't really know what else I would say. The coaches told me that they liked my speed."

Other schools from in-state and in the area were looking at Dixon. Dixon had actually received a very nice offer from Chadron State and if things didn't work out for him to walk on at Nebraska then he knew where he was headed.

"The other schools that were recruiting me were Nebraska-Kearney, Doane, Fort Hays and Chadron State. I actually decided if I wouldn't be able to walk on at Nebraska that I would go to Chadron State.

"I actually got accepted into a deal called RHOP there. That is an academic deal. Basically that is a full-ride for schooling, all four years, and you automatically get accepted into dental school."

The chance to get your education paid for. The chance to go on to dental school. All of that against a chance to play football for Nebraska never really had a chance. Dixon realized that his dream could be a reality as things went on with Nebraska.

"It's always been a dream of mine, it really wasn't that tough of a decision actually. I think that pretty much any Nebraska kid would do the same thing that I did, to turn down offers to walk on at Nebraska."

"I went to the Husker camps the past two summers. Just this past summer though did I really realize that I had a chance to do it. I spoke to Coach Shawn Watson about it.

"I just kept in touch with them. I kept sending them my tapes. I guess that really in the past two months or so I realized how serious they were about it. To Coach Watson, he said that I could be a preferred walk-on.

"I just kind of waited to see what was going to come of it. Then when Nebraska asked me to come down to their walk-on day down in Lincoln it just went from there."


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