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Class of 2021 Prospect Profiles: Cristian Dixon

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Without a senior season to prove himself, Dixon is a big wildcard in the class.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Michigan State at Michigan Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cristian Dixon

Position: WR

High School: Mater Dei (CA); previously Diamond Ranch (CA)

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 187 pounds

Ranking: Four-star (.9144 composite), No. 221 overall, No. 38 WR

Other finalists: Cal, USC

Recruitment

There may be no prospect in the class that wishes he had a senior season more than Cristian Dixon. As a sophomore, Dixon played at Diamond Ranch High School, a Division 5 school in California. He performed well, catching 43 passes for 862 yards and nine touchdowns.

At that point, Dixon was considered a top 100 talent, reaching as high as No. 74 in the country. He was taking visits to LSU and Alabama, who were hot on his tail.

Seeking a bigger challenge, Dixon transferred to Mater Dei, one of the nation’s best high school football programs. Now playing in a much tougher conference and battling other national recruits for playing time, Dixon struggled to start the season and his production dropped to 35 catches for 611 yards and six touchdowns.

On one hand, it’s easy to see why Dixon’s production dropped given how many talented receivers were on his team. Senior Kody Epps had over 1,700 yards and caught 28 touchdowns, and he was the lowest ranked out of the four main guys in the rotation.

But it was also obvious Dixon struggled to adapt. When watching a full game for his scouting report, I saw Dixon getting confused on where to line up a couple times. The SEC interest dropped, his ranking slid closer to the three/four-star borderline and instead Dixon received crystal balls for Cal shortly before choosing Michigan.

Not having a senior season makes Dixon one of the highest upside plays in the class. He’s shown he has all the tools to be one of the best receivers in the country. But he didn’t have an opportunity to show if he was just slow to adapt to the step up in competition, or he’s not able to perform at the highest level. I’ll be following Dixon’s career closely to see which outcome occurs.

Stats

Freshman (2 games): 3 receptions, 118 yards, 2 TDs

Sophomore (11 games): 43 receptions, 862 yards, 9 TDs

Junior: (13 games): 35 receptions, 611 yards, 6 TDs

Scouting

Maize n Brew scouting report

Pros:

  • Long frame with room to add more weight
  • Good footwork in and out of breaks
  • Body control and ability to high point ball make him a downfield threat

Cons:

  • Average speed and explosiveness
  • Struggled against high level of competition

Michigan has accumulated a bunch of speed in the wide receiver room the past few classes, but still needs some bigger bodies on the outside. Dixon is suited well to serve that role. He is a polished receiver with a large catch radius. He always catches the ball away from his body and possesses good body control to win 50/50 balls.

He uses excellent footwork to create separation in and out of his breaks. Dixon breaks down his feet and pumps his arms to change direction quickly. However, he is not a burner and lacks explosion off of the line. While he is crafty enough to pick up yards after the catch, he has the chance to be caught from behind.