Headed to Hargrave

After visiting the campus in May, Jamaal Dixon has decided to prep a semester at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy instead of enrolling at Fayetteville State.

"[Head coach Robert Prunty] said I really should be a Division I player," Dixon said. "Hargrave is a good opportunity for me to get looked at as a Division I player, plus I can work on my grades to get qualified for Division I.

"I was probably going to have to sit out for a year at Fayetteville [State], anyway, [for qualifying reasons]. This way, I won't have to sit out a year, I can still be playing."

Dixon, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound jumbo athlete, failed to qualify out of Gatesville (N.C.) Gates County. He originally signed with Fayetteville State, a Division II school.

"I was thinking about the opportunity of [Hargrave], so I decided to at least look into it and visit it," Dixon said.

Dixon says North Carolina assistant coach Kenny Browning had "a lot" to do with his decision to prep at Hargrave.

"I really like UNC – I want to go there – and he opened up the opportunity for me to go to Hargrave," Dixon said.

Dixon and Browning haven't spoken directly since Dixon's school year ended in May. Dixon plans to reach out to Browning sometime in the near future.

Although UNC heavily recruited him, East Carolina was the lone Division I-A school to offer Dixon before he decided to prep. Now a post graduate, he's unsure if the ECU offer still stands or if UNC plans to now extend a scholarship.

Dixon says he favors North Carolina. Furthermore, if he received a UNC scholarship offer, he admits he'd verbally commit to the school.

"I have a family member that goes there, I have a lot of friends there from the Shrine Bowl," Dixon said.

On August 17, Dixon will arrive on Hargrave's campus. He expects to be fully qualified by the end of the fall semester.

"I'm excited about going," Dixon said. "I'm not really [looking forward to the military lifestyle], but it will teach discipline and help me out in the long run."

On the football field, Dixon will tryout at both defensive end and tight end for Prunty.

"I played both [positions] my senior year of high school," Dixon said. "So he'll try to see which one I'm better at."

Dixon was a four-year starter for Gates County. He played nose tackle as a freshman, and then played defensive tackle and nose tackle as a sophomore and junior, as well as right tackle on offense.

As a senior, in addition to playing defensive end and tight end, Dixon also lined up at fullback during short-yardage situations and accumulated roughly 25 all-purpose touchdowns. He was named to the all-conference team as a defensive lineman and led Gates County in tackles.

Dixon capped his high school career by playing defensive tackle for North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl.

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