One of Georgia’s top defensive ends switches commitment from one SEC school to another

One of Georgia’s top defensive ends has made a last-minute switch from Mississippi State to Vanderbilt.

There were some interesting circumstances around the flip of Chattahoochee High’s Barron Dixon on Monday.

Around two weeks ago, the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder committed to Mississippi State over Arkansas and Maryland, among others.

However, Vanderbilt had a good feeling about Dixon, maintained contact and urged him to take an official visit. Dixon’s parents also strongly supported a recruiting trip to Vanderbilt.

This past Saturday, Dixon said he was tempted to take a quick trip to Vanderbilt but decided against it because he didn’t want to jeopardize losing his scholarship to Mississippi State. On Sunday, Dixon changed his mind, driving with his family to Vanderbilt for a one-day official visit — the very last day allowed before the signing period under NCAA rules.

And guess what? Dixon ended up switching to Vanderbilt before leaving campus.

“Vanderbilt has a great academic reputation, they play in the SEC, and I have a better chance of playing there earlier than I would at Mississippi State,” Dixon told the AJC. “Vanderbilt is bringing in new coaches and new players, and it’s going to be a new era for the football program. I want to be part of it.”

Chattahoochee coach Terry Crowder said his phone was ringing off the hook on Monday with coaches from both Mississippi State and Vanderbilt wanting to confirm the switch. Dixon was absent from school because of the trip, but confirmed to the AJC that he will sign with Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

“I talked Mississippi States coaches about it, and they were trying to convince me to stay with them,” Dixon said. “They notified me how much better Mississippi State is in football than Vanderbilt … and how they send more players to the NFL.

“It’s a tough decision, but Vanderbilt is the best situation for me and my family.”

Since committing to Mississippi State on Jan. 13, Dixon said he has had flirtations with Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt, along with Georgia Tech.

“There were some conversations with Georgia Tech but it never got to the point where they offered a scholarship,” Dixon said. “I just didn’t feel like Georgia Tech ran a defensive scheme that was a good fit for me.”

Said Crowder, “Barron is such a big kid and still had a lot of room to grow bigger. At his size, he can really run. That was really appealing to a lot of the colleges.”

– By Michael Carvell, AJC College Recruiting

56 comments Add your comment

Paul

February 1st, 2011
12:47 pm

Get an education…football may never last.

Alter state

February 1st, 2011
8:51 pm

Do you!! Don’t listen to the RawDawgs of the world. Their litttle world is based on who does and doesn’t sign with his beloved dawgs every year. A Vandy degree trumps all the SEC schools combined and people know that. Vandy is in the conference to give the SEC academic credibility. A new coach over there is what they needed. Coach Franklin is a winner and will get the program going. All the best dude, get your degree and later hire some of your former SEC opponents to work at your company.

1962 DAWG

February 1st, 2011
10:40 pm

Alter State

Your right. Degree from Vandy in the SEC is like having one from Wake Forest in the ACC.
Hard to get!!!

vandync1922

February 2nd, 2011
1:13 am

Mitch: It’s Miss. St. with 14 players in the NFL and Vanderbilt University with 12 players in the NFL. Do your homework. I don’t know where your other 9 players are. Miss. St.: 15,000 plus students. Vanderbilt University: 6,000 students. Good odds to make it to the NFL as a true student-athlete if you go to a school to really go to college. Or then, there are the cowbells…

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