December 4, 2008

Tough decision looms for Florida CB

Soft-spoken Ricardo Dixon is known for his quick feet and his willingness to get physical in the defensive secondary.

The three-star cornerback from Hallandale, Fla., may talk softly, but he carries a big stick. The 5-foot-11, 168-pounder with 4.42-second speed in the 40-yard dash is also carrying a little extra load between his ears these days.

Dixon committed to South Florida in June, and while he still considers himself committed to the Bulls, he is feeling the lure of playing in the Southeastern Conference. Dixon, who recorded 60 tackles, 13 pass break-ups and six interceptions (including one he returned 55 yards for a touchdown) while leading Hallandale to the second round of the Florida high school playoffs, is visiting Ole Miss this weekend. The trip to Oxford is more than a sight-seeing venture.

"I have a really good relationship with (Ole Miss recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks) Coach (Chris) Vaughn," Dixon said. "They say I could come in and play right away. There's a good chance, he said, that I could come in and play as a freshman. He said I probably wouldn't start as a freshman, but he said if you are All-Big East, it means you're a good player but if you are All-SEC, it means you can play with anyone. That's got me thinking."

Dixon said he watched almost all of Ole Miss' televised games, including the Rebels' win at Florida and their mauling of LSU in Baton Rouge.

"They're real good," Dixon said. "Especially when they played Florida, the defense was just great. They run so many formations and they do a lot of different things with the cornerbacks, including blitzes. It seems like it would be a good transition for me."

So is there a chance Dixon could change his mind this weekend and flip to Ole Miss?

"Honestly, I don't know," Dixon said. "There's probably a good chance though. I'll have to really sit down and think about it."

Dixon might have some contemplating company. His friend and high school teammate, all-purpose back Korvic Neat, is also visiting Ole Miss this weekend. Neat is committed to Florida International, but the Rebels have been making a strong move.

"At first Korvic didn't have many offers," Dixon said. "Ole Miss got on him and he felt a good connection with Ole Miss like I did."

Dixon said South Florida is still in good shape to fight off Ole Miss' advances. He said he'll visit the Tampa-based school next month.

"I know they fell off at the end of the season," Dixon said. "But they tell me I'm the top cornerback coming in. They say I can play as a freshman because I have more talent than most corners.

"It'll be a tough decision."

Dixon, who is ranked as the nation's No. 47 cornerback by, also sports offers from Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State, Rutgers and South Carolina.

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