UP NEXT: 2011 Northwestern DT Gerald Dixon Jr

SCPrepNation.com travels feverishly each and every week especially now in the thick of the playoffs. This next installment of our "UP NEXT" series brings forth another huge prospect in the 2011 class. Enter Gerald Dixon Jr. of Northwestern High School. The 6'2 280 pound DT standout is already making a statement to be one of 2011's very best prospects. Come inside to learn more.

Gerald Dixon Jr. Profile

To many of you the name will sound familiar. Yes indeed. Gerald Dixon Jr. is the son of former South Carolina and NFL standout Gerald Dixon. We first saw him in action against Spartanburg earlier this year and we finally caught up with the 2011 prospect to see how his season has been and his early list of favorites on the recruiting front.

One game. That's all it took and we were sold. Putting on one of the most dominant performances we've seen from a sophomore DT in many years Dixon played like a seasoned college player against Spartanburg High. We counted at least 6 plays in a row where Dixon made the tackle against the Vikings. Considering his youth and position it's definitely a rarity.

After evaluating things after the 3rd tackle in a row we thought it was simply due to the outside pressure of standout 2009 bookend defensive ends Dwaney Mills and Hakeem Adams. Yes that might have had something to do with it but regardless Mr. Dixon was in shutdown mode and the Vikings were getting little to nothing against him and his Trojan teammates.

Asked if the performance against the Vikings was one of his best he quickly replied, "Yes the Spartanburg game. It was my best because I was on every tackle the whole game and couldn't be stopped. I think I ended up with 12 tackles including 2 for a loss." Needless to say Dixon wasn't on the field that much and we were wondering why since his domination was so apparent in the early going. The Trojans however had things in hand and coach Jimmy Wallace allowed him to play enough snaps to make us diehard believers in the promise of the 2011 prospect.

Being the son of a college and professional player there's usually an underlying pressure to live up to their father's legacy. Is that the case with Dixon and his father? "No." The elder Dixon has been involved since Junior's peewee football days he says.

So now with the younger Dixon starting to create a buzz for himself on the gridiron we prodded a little and asked who is the better player at the same age? "Me because I'm bigger than he was in his high school years."

Playing defensive tackle Dixon knows his role and his play on the field is evidence of that. "My strong points are that I really plug up the holes as a run stopper." Realizing that he's still just a sophomore Gerald Jr. says he'll continue to work on all aspects of his repetoire in order to get better. He made sure to point out some specific areas that he'd like to show the greatest improvement though. "I want to work on my speed and separation."

One schools has already been staying in regular contact with Dixon in the early going and he also shared with us his list of early favorites too. "I hear from South Carolina. My list of favorites right now would be Tennessee, South Carolina, and Clemson."

With the Gamecocks having such close ties to the family Dixon has already made a few visits to Columbia to check out his father's former squad. "Yes I've been to South Carolina. I really like the fact that they are close to home."

Last night the Trojans won yet again with a 49-9 victory over Richland Northeast. The win now moves them into the Upper State AAAA Division 2 championship game against Lancaster next week at home. For Dixon and his teammates they are focused on taking things game by game in hopes of winning a state title.

During his short career with the Trojans Dixon says a nearby opponent is easily the toughest player he's faced thus far. "Stephon Gilmore, because he is very quick and elusive." He also doesn't have to go too far to find players to look up to besides his father. "I look up to Jerel Miller and Hakeem Adams because they help me improve my game on and off the field."

Dixon has not obtained his current season stats as of yet but plans to find out soon so be on the lookout for that in a "ITN: Inside The Numbers" feature. He did however share with us his current maxes in the weight room.

Weight Room Maxes...Gerald Dixon Jr.
Bench press: 290 pounds
Squat: 460 pounds
Power clean: 260 pounds

We will continue to track Gerald Dixon Jr. as all signs point to a meteoric rise in his stock over the course of the next 2 seasons. Nobody else introduces you first to or brings you closer to the state of South Carolina's top high school football and basketball prospects so keep it locked right here with SCPrepNation.com and Scout.com everyday!

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