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