Gerald Dixon Jr. is one half of the Dixon brothers who signed with South Carolina last week to play football.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Gerald Jr., who had 100 tackles and 10 sacks last season, anchored the defensive line for a Northwestern team that went 15-0 and won the Class 4A Division 2 state championship.
He and brother Gerald G. Dixon from South Pointe will follow in the footsteps of their father, a former Rock Hill High star who played at USC in 1990-91 before going on to a 10-year career with three teams in the NFL.
Both Dixons were Shrine Bowl linemen this past season.
Talk about signing with the Gamecocks.
It's great to sign with the University of South Carolina. About time all this process is over with so I can focus on South Carolina. I'm glad that that they gave me the opportunity. I just want to thank God and my parents and everybody.
Why did you pick USC?
Close to home and my dad went there. I went to a lot of football games and I really liked the atmosphere and such. They have a great education, and I like the students and everything about USC.
What makes Gerald Jr. a great football player?
I just thank God for giving me the ability to play football. He gave me all this ability and talent to play and I just want to thank Him.
Anything you are particularly strong at or need to improve?
For me to be a big guy, I’m pretty fast. They tell me how fast I am and stuff. I take an interception “to the house,” and they tell me they’ve never seen anybody my size who can run that fast.
Your dad went to USC. Did you see it as your destiny to go to USC?
No. I grew up with the Tennessee Vols. I loved the Tennessee Volunteers and I was liking them in my ninth-grade year, too. USC just popped out of nowhere and I started liking them.
Are you excited to be going to USC with your brother?
Yes. It’s been a while since we’ve been together on the field. When we were at the Shrine Bowl I was liking how they have me, him, and [Jadeveon] Clowney on the field together. So I’m really looking forward to it.
How’s your relationship with Brad Lawing?
He’s a great coach. I got my faith in him to teach me and get me to where I need to be. They have a great defensive line, and I’m just looking forward to him being my coach.
What part are you going to play in that defensive line?
I think I’m going to be playing defensive tackle right now, but things kinda move around so I don’t really know. The position right now is defensive tackle.
How special was it for you to end your senior year as a state champion?
It's great to go to the state championship. We’ve been three times in a row and came up short twice. My senior year we finally got it together and pulled it out. We were undefeated - the first team at Northwestern to go undefeated. It’s a great feeling.
Between now and school what are you going to be doing and working on?
Just working out – trying to get bigger, faster and stronger. I’ll go workout with my cousin, Chris Hope, he plays for the Tennessee Titans. When he comes home, he takes me out and we run, lift and workout all day long.
What do you think Clowney is going to do?
I really don’t know. I hope he’s a Gamecock. If he does then I’ll love it. We all are going to love it.