South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney nabs all the headlines, but he isn't the only sought-after member of the Stallions' shut-down defense.
Since he plays with the nation's No. 1-ranked prospect, the other defensive end, Gerald Dixon, often gets lost in the recruiting shuffle. However, he also has the skills and frame to become a solid college player. That type of success is in his blood.
Dixon's father, Gerald Dixon Sr., had a standout career at South Carolina before a successful NFL career. His other son, also named Gerald Dixon, is a standout senior defensive tackle at Northwestern.
Like his half-brother, South Pointe's Dixon figures to play inside at the next level. He is quick enough to be an edge player for the Stallions, but his size (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) and growth potential make him a likely candidate to become a penetrating, 3-technique tackle in college.
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"He's got the frame to weigh 280 or 290 and play inside," South Pointe coach Bobby Carroll said.
"He's a 50 shade, a 4-3 3-technique or 2-technique. He's an inside guy, because he's so strong and has great balance. He's got a low center of gravity and doesn't get knocked back."
Carroll also raves about Dixon's football intelligence. Even though he's a defensive end, he makes many of the defensive calls for the Stallions. That job is usually reserved for a linebacker, but Carroll and Co. know their senior understands the scheme as well as anybody.
Dixon is also a charasmatic leader, who has the respect and the attention of his teammates.
"I'm a leader of this team," he said. "I'm a fun, joking person, but I'm serious when it's time to get serious."
That focus has helped him thrive this season. Before Friday's blowout win over Chester, Dixon and Clowney were tied in total sacks and were nearly even in tackles.
Of course, Dixon has benefitted from the regular double-teams that Clowney faces, giving him chances to create backfield havoc from one-on-one matchups with offensive tackles that are typically much less athletic and not as strong. That strength is what figures to help Dixon the most once he makes the transition inside.
He could ultimately play tackle for the Gamecocks. However, there is no guarantee that he'll follow in his father's lofty footsteps. Dixon has offers from USC, Auburn, North Carolina, N.C. State, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Arkansas and others, though he hasn't compiled a group of favorites.
He said his education and potential playing time would play a large role in his decision. However, the fate of his half-brother could have an even bigger impact. The Dixons maintain that they want to play together in college, a point they have stated publicly many times over the last six months.
Northwestern's Dixon has offers from USC and Maryland. It is believed both brothers favor USC — they've spent a large portion of their adolescent years on campus — though the Gamecocks aren't a lock for their services.