For Dylan Dixson, the highlight of the past few months was prom weekend.
Aside from that, the final months of high school were really just necessary steps before Dixson’s next journey as a football player and student at Colorado.
“I’m very excited to be honest,” Dixson said of coming to CU this summer. “I feel like I’ve played football my whole life for this moment, so it’s just all excitement over here.”
Dixson, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety from Pearland (Texas) High School, is one of 19 newcomers set to join the Buffaloes, who are scheduled to report for summer workouts on June 13.
“Honestly, I’ve been more excited for this moment than graduating,” he said. “I feel like all I’ve been here for is to play football, you know?”
Dixson has waited for this moment for more than 16 months. On Feb. 4, 2021, he became the first player to commit to CU for the 2022 class. He signed his letter of intent in December and has been biding his time since then.
He’s ready for a big life change but also curious about what that change will bring.
“I think I’m more physically ready,” he said. “The mental challenge is what I’m in for because I’ve never been up there, so I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know how people act (in Boulder) or what’s popular and what’s not. I could get up there and be a complete weirdo, but down here I’m of the popular kids, so that’s what I’m interested in seeing how that goes. The physical aspect, I know that as long as it’s there, I’m gonna compete and fight.”
Physically, the Buffaloes are getting a talented safety who is the highest-rated player in their 2022 class, according to 247Sports.com.
Dixson was ranked as a top-50 safety nationally by ESPN, Rivals.com and 247Sports after posting 257 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, six sacks and six interceptions during his prep career. He had 88 tackles, three TFLs and two interceptions as a senior.
Projected as a safety at CU, he’s been training to be as prepared as possible.
“I trained as a corner to get my feet more versatile,” he said. “When it comes to lifting and stuff, I kind of lift like a linebacker. I really could play anywhere, but as of right now coach says he’s going to have me at safety.
“I’m fine with wherever, as long as I’m gonna get on the field.”
Safety is one of CU’s most inexperienced position groups, which gives Dixson and other young players an intriguing opportunity.
Senior Isaiah Lewis is a returning starter, while true sophomore Trevor Woods played 139 snaps last season. Tyrin Taylor, who is also a true sophomore, got some experience last year at corner, nickel and safety.
None of the other five other scholarship safeties, including Dixson, have played a single snap on defense for the Buffs yet. The others are: junior Jaylen Striker, junior college transfer Jeremy Mack Jr. and true freshmen Oakie Salave’a and Xavier Smith.
Dixson said he’s coming to Boulder ready to compete.
“I’m ready to see new competition and better myself with people who are trying to get to the same place I’m trying to get to,” he said. “In high school, either people are just playing high school to be cool and get the girls or it’s playing for fun. But college, everyone is playing for the same reason, for the love of the game and to get that bag.”
Dixson admits he’s not looking forward to taking classes this summer, but added, “I know it’s a part of the process and something that I have to do and that school comes before football, so I’m just gonna have to give it my all.”
Also part of the process – at least for Dixson – is catching fish. In addition to competing on the football field, he can’t wait to get on the water in Colorado.
“It’s a new type of fishing,” he said. “I know I’m gonna have something to do in between my football hours and school hours, so I’m excited to see the fishing they have out there.”