The Ohio State football team has seen its fair share of spring game stars in the past, but many times, those stars fade to the bottom of the depth chart when the regular season rolls around. Johnnie Dixon is doing everything he can to not be the next chapter in that book.
After suffering through a plethora of injuries in both knees, Dixon got the start for the Scarlet team on April 15 in the Ohio State spring game and caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores, something he said he wasn't sure would ever happen a few months ago.
"I did not think I was going to be here. I didn’t know if I wanted to stay, or did I just want to not play anymore," Dixon said. "It was frustrating for it to keep happening over and over again.”
Dixon's touchdowns came via the deep ball as well, as he caught an 18-yard fade route from Dwayne Haskins before catching a 44-yard bomb from Joe Burrow, both coming in the first half.
Dixon said while he pondered giving up football and leaving the program, it was the love of his teammates and Ohio State that motivated him to give it one last go-round in Columbus.
“Every day I go to class, and I am like, ‘This is a weird feeling.’ I wake up, and I am at football and I am seeing my brothers," Dixon said. "I am talking to Parris (Campbell) every day like, ‘Bro, I am coming back.’ It was a strange feeling not being with those guys and I knew that I had an opportunity to come and help the young guys.”
Now that he is back, Dixon is stating his case to be in the thick of the wide receiver rotation come fall camp. He said he has yet to miss a day of spring practice and has been able to stay healthy because of his improved rehab routine.
“At times, I got down on myself and I might skip out on rehab. Now, everyday after practice I make sure I am in there doing what I have to do," Dixon said. “I feel like this time I stayed on it more than I did in the past. Every day after practice I go in and get on the machine we call blood flow. This time, I stuck with it (more).”
While the spring game could serve as a sign of things to come, it could also just be a footnote in Dixon's career.
Ohio State wide receivers such as Taurian Washington and Bam Childress have had breakout spring games in past years, only to disappear come fall when the bright lights are on. In order to avoid the spring game curse, Dixon said he just has to continue to work on his craft and make sure he keeps up with his rehab routines.
“Simply just stay on the same route I have been on. I feel like it is working for me. Just maybe change some things to enhance my ability, but no major changes," he said.
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