There is no arguing that linebacker recruiting has struggled over the first five classes of James Franklin's Penn State tenure. However, on the heels of a commitment from five-star Brandon Smith last month, the Nittany Lions have locked up a commitment from four-star linebacker Lance Dixon. Dixon announced his decision on Sunday at The Opening Finals in Dallas.
C O M M I T T E D . . . pic.twitter.com/l2BDhqi0Oa
— (@Lance__Dixon) July 1, 2018
Penn State and Dixon have been linked for nearly a year. The West Bloomfield, Mich. native first visited Happy Valley for a camp in July of 2017. He returned in October for the Lions' White Out victory over his home state Michigan Wolverines, and was officially offered just two weeks later.
The DIXON File
- Class: 2019
- Size: 6'3, 201 lbs.
- Pos: OLB
- School: West Bloomfield (West Bloomfield, Mich.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★ (.9081)
- Composite Rank: No. 254 overall, No. 16 OLB
The Nittany Lions and Wisconsin have long been considered the favorites to land Dixon. Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Louisville, Syracuse, and Texas A&M were among the other schools to offer the four-star prospect. Dixon took his official visit to State College in early-June, and after a visit to Madison the following week, Penn State became the favorite.
Dixon's biggest attribute is his elite level athleticism. That is what earned him an invite to The Opening Finals in Texas. While the safe bet is that he takes a redshirt year upon arriving in Happy Valley next summer, the new redshirt rule, along with his ability, may make that a tougher move to make. While he sits at No. 254 nationally, 247Sports rankings have him at No. 72, and the No. 5 OLB.
This is Penn State's 10th commitment in the class, and second blue chip linebacker. Dixon joins the aforementioned Smith as the latest flag bearers for Linebacker U. The Nittany Lions now sit at No. 20 nationally in the 247Sports rankings, and at No. 4 in the Big 10. The 10 member class is tied with Texas (No. 19) for the smallest class among any in the top-20.