By: Brendan C. Hall, USA TODAY High School Sports | November 1, 2018
Uber-versatile West Bloomfield (Mich.) two-way star Lance Dixon received his All-American Bowl jersey Thursday morning as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
Dixon, a four-star Penn State commit ranked by 247 Sports as the nation’s 14th best linebacker and the sixth-best overall prospect in Michigan, is the first player ever from the West Bloomfield program to be selected to the game. It’s the culmination of a slow build for an 8-2 Lakers program that has gone from doormat to door-buster over Dixon’s time in the community.
“The program has come so far over the last decade. It’s great to see how far we came,” Dixon told USA TODAY Sports. “We just wasn’t that good, I think we only won three games 10 years ago, and didn’t make the playoffs until 6-7 years ago. So, it’s just great to see this now from where it’s been.”
— All-American Bowl Jersey Presentation Tour (@AABJerseyTour) November 1, 2018
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Dixon is one of the more industrious players competing in this year’s bowl, seeing snaps at all three levels on defense and lining up at running back, inside and outside receiver on offense. His role takes a physical toll, but he’s as comfortable ripping through a blocker with a swim or bull rush as he is going over the middle on a run-pass option, or out-racing opponents to the corner on a jet sweep.
“It’s very taxing, but I’ve been going through it for the last years, so I’m just used to it,” Dixon said. “It’s just great to help my team out.”
Dixon will primarily compete for a linebacker spot when he gets to Happy Valley next year, but given his success all over the field he could potentially find multiple roles with the Nittany Lions. Regardless, he says knowing all these different positions makes it “that much easier” to quarterback the defense.
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.