A reader sent along a note that he felt like Washington’s addition this week of Travell Dixon (pictured right) went kind of unnoticed. Maybe that’s because it had been rumored for a while so it didn’t feel like real big news by this point; he won’t be eligible until 2013; and he isn’t yet allowed to talk to local media.
But I’d agree with the reader that bringing in Dixon could pay big dividends for UW in 2013 as the Huskies envision the 6-1, 191-pounder as someone who could step right in at one cornerback spot for senior Desmond Trufant.
In fact, that’s exactly what UW coach Steve Sarkisian said this week in announcing the addition of Dixon (and here’s the school’s release on that topic):
“Yeah we do (have a new player), he’s a junior college corner (playing the 2010 and 2011 seasons at Eastern Arizona), Travell Dixon who decided to go to Alabama,” Sarkisian said. “Things didn’t work out and we had a scholarship available, and were able to get him in academically and get him on board, which is good because in our conference, the more good corners you can get, the better. To get a guy with some experience for next year as we lose Tru (Trufant) will be good for us.
“We knew about him (last yeara), we didn’t know how much of a need it was. When Justin (Wilcox) and Keith Keyward came on board, he was on their radar as well and between all three of us, we had a pretty good relationship there. He probably would have been a real real priority for us (for the Class of 2012) if it weren’t for Tre Watson but now they are staggered and get to be veterans as we move into next year. He has great length for a corner, tremendous speed, which are two things we are continually looking for at that spot. Ideally we recruit six foot or taller corners that can run and defend the length of receiver in our conference. He can practice, I think was his third day now so starting tomorrow he can wear pads, he is essentially in the same boat Tre was in a year ago for us. He can practice with us, he won’t be able to suit up for us or go to a bowl game but he can practice and go to school, all of those things.”
As Sarkisian noted, Heyward had recruited Dixon while at Oregon State, a relationship that helped bring Dixon to UW:
Here’s what Heyward said this week about Dixon: “Yeah I recruited him when I was at the other school. He was a tall corner, athletic, can run, good hips, so that’s why all the other schools in the nation were recruiting him, they wanted great big corners. We wanted to play physical and get up there and challenge receivers. As he learns schemes through his redshirt year, we’ll be able to utilize him and he’s a big guy who can step up on the run but he’s also able to challenge receivers at the line.”
As his bio notes, Dixon is originally from Miami
Dixon explained his road from Miami to Eastern Arizona (notably, that he didn’t play much high school football so he was kind of under the radar at that time) and then to Alabama during a signing day press conference last February, which you can watch below:
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Here also is a good story from Rivals.com based off that press conference that explains Dixon’s road from Miami to JC to Alabama.
Dixon hasn’t been quoted on why he left Alabama and decided to come to UW
But his Eastern Arizona coach, John O’Mera, told ESPN.com’s HuskyNation that he initially tried to point Dixon to UW.
“We knew kind of going in that he didn’t like it there (at Alabama) in the spring,” O’Mera said to HuskyNation. “But, of course, we encouraged him to give it a shot. It just wasn’t a fit for him there in the fall and he wasn’t happy.”
O’Mera said he has a long relationship with UW OL coach Dan Cozzetto, who worked at Arizona State for nine years, a relationship that also helped steer Dixon to UW. O’Mera said: “Cozzetto has helped us a lot. We’ve wanted to get them a player or two and get something going where they can help us and we can help them on a couple of other guys. It’s working, because they’re talking to a couple of kids off this year’s team.”
HuskyNation identified those as running back Mike Bellamy, who started his career at Clemson before being ruled academically ineligible in May, running back Jamal Satchell and defensive end Quinton Brown.
And finally, here’s a highlight tape of Dixon from his Eastern Arizona days:
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