Although still ridiculously early in the recruiting process for the class of 2009, one fact that most recruiting analysts appear to agree on is that Xavier Nixon will be the top prospect in North Carolina during the upcoming year.
So far the 6-6, 285 pound offensive tackle out of Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville has amassed better than 30 scholarship offers from the likes of NC State, UNC, Miami, Notre Dame, Florida, Georgia, Penn State and Tennessee among others. Suffice it to say that Nixon will have his choice of college destination when signing day rolls around next February.
What has attracted the offers and interest from college coaches is Nixon's rare combination of size, strength, agility and athleticism. He has the ability to dominate on the high school level but more importantly, is only scratching the surface of his potential. Because of his physical abilities, coachable style and hard-working attitude, Nixon has tremendous upside and that will keep him at the top of signing day wish-lists all year.
Despite the deluge of correspondence, visit requests and lofty rankings, Nixon has kept a level head through the process. Emerging as a national-caliber prospect happens for a very select few and Nixon considers himself fortunate to be considered one of the nation's best.
"It's definitely been a blessing," said Nixon. "I come from a family that taught me to appreciate the things I get in life and it's just great to have this opportunity to get an education and play football at the next level."
Nixon hails from a military background and that has presented a challenge as he tries to wade through the dizzying amount of correspondence and scholarship offers. With his father currently serving overseas, it is highly unlikely that Nixon will settle on a future college before his dad has a chance to become a bigger part of the process later in the year.
"Both of my parents are in the army," said Nixon. "They're both still on active duty and my dad is currently over in Afghanistan. He's supposed to be over there for about eight or nine months or so before he comes back. He's a command Sergeant Major so he's able to call all the time to keep up with how I'm doing."
One school that will be more than willing to wait is NC State. After landing the state's top prospect in Terrell Manning last year, the Wolfpack coaches would like nothing more than to repeat in the class of 2009. To the Pack's credit, they were the first school to jump on the Nixon bandwagon with a scholarship offer. With Jay M Robinson standout offensive tackle R.J. Mattes inking with State last year, the Wolfpack would likely be thrilled to add Nixon as an anchor at their other tackle position. While behind the scenes many feel State has emerged as a main player for Nixon's commitment along with UNC, Clemson and Notre Dame, publically he says that he's keeping all options open and all schools equal for the time being.
"I'm definitely looking at everybody right now," said Nixon. "I can't count anybody out at this point. It's early in the process so I want to take my time and make a decision."
When Nixon does decide to narrow his list down, one of the factors in NC State's favor is that TE coach Jim Bridge is heading up the Wolfpack's efforts. Bridge has proven to be one of the Pack's top recruiters and he's already had an impact on Nixon.
"Coach Bridge is recruiting me. He's a real funny guy and he keeps me laughing all the time. I definitely like him."
Nixon is currently rated as the number one offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.