On the football field, it’s almost impossible to miss Edna Karr High School wide receiver Dai’jean Dixon. At 6'3" and 210 pounds, the multi-sport athlete has the size, speed and hands to possibly be every quarterback’s dream target.
“He wears a 2X glove,” says Karr head coach Brice Brown. “He catches everything that comes his way. He’s a hard worker.”
You might even confuse Dixon with his teammate, a top recruit by LSU, Racey McMath.
“The two look like twins on the field sometimes because their game really mimics each other,” says Brown.
From their stature to big-play ability, they’re identical. But while McMath heads to the big time at an SEC powerhouse, Dixon’s power five potential began to slip away more than a year ago.
“I talked to a few of them, like LSU,” says Dixon. “But I got into a situation. So the offers didn’t really come from the bigger schools.”
That situation changed the course of his life. In January of 2016, a woman accused Dixon, then age 17, and two other men of sexual assault at an Algiers house party. The headlines ran off more than a few suitors. His coach says it didn’t make sense. It didn’t fit Dixon’s character.
“He has younger sisters and younger brothers who he has to be a role model for,” says Brown. “That’s the biggest part in the whole process. He knows that people are looking at him on a daily basis.”
Months after the arrest, the woman recanted her story. The district attorney decided not to charge, but the damage was done.
“Anytime a kid goes through that situation, and he's innocent, that's the key,” says Brown. “He's innocent. And he was really trying to do the right thing, trying to be the better person. So when you see him get to the end and you see that talent and drive and ambition, and you know that he can play at a high level with the so-called big boys, it’s a little frustrating.”
Dixon battled to clear his name. With his family and coaches, he spent a full year fighting to get the matter expunged from his record. And in January of this year, he did. But this wasn't just a legal issue. Dixon said the stigma of being accused of a violent crime had big name schools passing him over for a college scholarship. The scrutiny he faced hasn't been easy to overcome, but Dixon followed the Cougars football motto of tunnel vision, only looking forward.
“It had already happened,” says Dixon. “So I just had to deal with it, and not just me by myself, but my family too.”
“It’s a tough situation, but I think it’s going to all work out for the better because he’s going to be one of those kids,” says Brown. “He’s going to succeed wherever he goes.”
While the big name offers dried up, Nicholls State stepped up and offered him a scholarship on signing day. His coach says the Colonels are getting a steal as an athlete and a person.
“He’s really become not only a great football player, but an even better man,” says Brown.
Many only know the Dai’Jean Dixon that torched defense the last two seasons and not the student athlete with goals even bigger of the field than on.
“These are the majors I was thinking about,” says Dixon. “I was going to go into mechanical engineering. And if not that, sports medicine, fashion design and art.”
As many coaches will tell you, the number of stars doesn't make the recruit. The tape says it all. And if you watch Dixon's, there's no doubt that he has what it takes to make his dreams a reality.
“I really feel like I have a chance,” says Dixon. “If I put my mind to it, I’m going to get there.”
With an unlimited amount of potential and a bright future ahead, it’s a sure bet you’ll see Dixon all over the highlights for years to come with the Colonels.
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