Posted: 3:26 pm Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
By Anthony Chiang
Ever since taking an official visit to Ohio State in September, Johnnie Dixon has been carrying a buckeye in his pocket.
“He keeps it in his pocket with him every day,” Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said. “That made me believe he was leaning toward Ohio State.”
Dixon made it official in a ceremony held at Dwyer High on Tuesday, verbally committing to Ohio State. The 5-foot-10, 187-pound wide receiver plans to sign a financial aid agreement with the Buckeyes over the next couple of days. The wide receiver chose Ohio State over Miami and Alabama, among others.
“In my heart, I knew I was going to go to Ohio State,” said Dixon, who plans to enroll at Ohio State in January. “I just had to make sure it was really the best for me.”
In the end, it came down to Miami and Ohio State. Dixon built a close relationship with Hurricanes head coach Al Golden and wide receivers coach Brennan Carroll, but he didn’t want to stay close to home.
Just minutes before the announcement, Dixon called the schools to notify them of his decision. He said the most difficult call to make was the one to Miami, as he was “scared” to give Golden the news.
“That’s another place my heart was at during the process,” said Dixon, who left Golden a voicemail before the announcement. “It was hard telling those guys that I would not be attending the University of Miami.”
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer visited Dixon’s home last week, and that confirmed Dixon’s decision. The Buckeyes just missed the national championship, finishing with a 12-1 record and earning a trip to the Orange Bowl against Clemson.
Ohio State scored 46.3 points per game and threw for 200.9 yards per game this season.
“They throw the ball and put it in the playmakers’ hands,” Dixon said. “Coach Meyer knows what to do with receivers.”
Dixon was originally scheduled to announce his college decision on Dec. 8 at JJ Muggs Stadium Grill in Jupiter, but he decided to push back his announcement until after Dwyer played Niceville in the Class 7A state title game on Dec. 13.
Dixon is ranked as the third-best recruit on PBGametime’s Class of 2014 Big Board, and 24-7 Sports rates Dixon as a four-star prospect.
The senior played his best football during Dwyer’s recent playoff run. Dixon recorded 17 catches for 366 yards and six touchdowns in the Panthers’ five postseason games, which ended with a Class 7A state championship.
“I have to get away and live my life,” Dixon said. “Ohio State is the best place for me to grow up. My mom can come up whenever she has the time to, but I just had to get away.”
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.