August 27, 2008

Nixon ready for visits

Last January, Xavier Nixon sat in the seats at the Alamodome in San Antonio watching the country's best high school football players take part in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Nixon, a 6-foot-6, 263-pound tackle from Fayetteville, N.C., had just completed his junior season and was one of nearly 500 junior prospects that showcased their skills in the Junior Combine. It was then he set a goal to be one of the players on the field a year later.

Earlier this summer that dream was realized when Nixon received his invitation to play in the U.S. Army Bowl. He quickly accepted.

"I'm excited about it," Nixon said. "It's made me work even harder now. I want to look like a real player when I get out there."

That could be trouble for defensive linemen as Nixon already is one of the most dominant blockers in the country. ranks him as the No. 2 tackle in the nation and the four-star prospect is ranked 38th in the Rivals100.

His play as a junior and his dominating performance in San Antonio helped Nixon land scholarship offers from college programs across the country. Nixon said he's narrowed that long list to just nine schools and will make a commitment during the U.S. Army Bowl.

"Miami, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Clemson, Notre Dame, N.C. State, North Carolina and West Virginia," Nixon said about his top schools. "It's just going to be how I feel at the school and with the coaching staff and teammates; things like that and playing time."

All of the schools have remained in contact with Nixon, but he said he hears the most from LSU, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Miami.

This weekend, he'll take the first of his five official visits when he takes in a game in Baton Rouge. LSU opens the 2008 season with a game against Appalachian State. The following weekend, Nixon will travel to Gainesville to check out Florida in action against another of his favorites, the Miami Hurricanes. He has yet to decide on his other three visits.

Last weekend Nixon and his Jack Britt teammates opened the 2008 season with a 47-6 win over Smith. The Buccaneers went 10-3 last year, falling in the postseason's second round.

"I did good," he said. "It felt the same because we've been on the field for so long. I felt like it carried over from last season."

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