Notre Dame is Likely to Crack Nixon's Top 10

Xavier Nixon hasn't talked to Corwin Brown lately, but the Notre Dame defensive coordinator is constantly in touch with his old friend Richard Bailey, Nixon's Jack Britt High head coach.

"He's always calling my head coach, coach Bailey, and telling him how much they still need me," Nixon said.

Bailey and Brown go back about nine years. The two met back when Brown was an assistant coach at Virginia recruiting another player. Bailey said he followed Brown when he moved to the NFL, and the two have worked camps together and kept in touch over the years.

One call that was made about a year ago, was Bailey telling Brown he needed to take a look at his left tackle, Xavier Nixon.

"I was calling him saying I have an offensive lineman you need to see," Bailey said. "Corwin trusts my judgment. When they got the film they were excited. Then, when they got him on campus for their summer camp, they really enjoyed meeting him and meeting his parents."

The Notre Dame coaching staff made the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Fayetteville, N.C. product one of its earliest scholarship offers in the 2009 recruiting class.

"Obviously he's very high on there list of wants," Bailey said. "Corwin often reminds me the other teams may want him, but they need him. The offensive line has been a place they're looking to improve upon, and I think there is an opportunity for him to play early.

"I know Xavier said he is looking for early playing time, but he is realistic," Bailey continued. "I've also talked with him about this numerous times, that o-linemen don't play that early. If they do, it's for two reasons, the team is bad, or they have a desperate need. He probably understands it will be his sophomore or junior year before he is a playing a lot."

The five-star Nixon now has 34 scholarship offers. He is planning on trimming that growing list down to 10 by the end of the spring, where he'll then move on to the next step in evaluating those lucky programs. To be one of the finalists, Nixon will be looking for schools that have what he wants to major in, which he is undecided right now, and how successful their graduates are. He said the Irish have a great chance of making that list.

"I'll definitely visit Notre Dame," Nixon said. "It will probably be sometime in the summer when I visit."

"He likes Notre Dame," Bailey said. "I know its high on mom and dad's list."

Both Nixon's parents are high-ranking officers in the military. His father is currently over in Afghanistan and is expected back in January. Nixon has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game that month.

Before Nixon's father left this past January, Irish head coach Charlie Weis wanted to set something up where he could talk to both parents.

"They talked," Nixon said. "My Dad and my Mom came up to the school in the morning and we all got to sit down and talk. He was telling them about how the other recruiters are going to tell me what I want to hear, and he said he'll always keep it real for me. One thing he told me that was very important to me, is that if I committed to Notre Dame right now and got hurt, he'd still honor my scholarship and allow me to go to Notre Dame and get my degree. That was real good for me."

At this juncture in the recruiting process, Nixon said he is hearing from Miami, North Carolina and North Carolina State the most. However, Notre Dame isn't hurting themselves with as much contact as they're having with Bailey.

"Me and Corwin are friends," Bailey said. "I've known Corwin for a long time. He's one of the most honest straight forward guys I've ever met. There is a comfort with Notre Dame for me. I feel comfortable if Xavier chooses to go to Notre Dame, knowing he would be treated right there.

"That's one thing I worry about. I know in-state schools like North Carolina have to come back to Jack Britt High School and recruit again. It's sometimes worrisome when I get schools like Oklahoma and Texas, they're great programs, but they never have to come back to Jack Britt again, and Notre Dame for that matter also. So you worry how a player like Xavier will get treated when he is away.

"With Notre Dame I have a real comfort level with Corwin, and I met coach Weis and I feel good about him as well."

Nixon plans on announcing his college decision at the Army game.


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