All 105 is a Nittany Sports Now series profiling each Penn State football player. Here’s a profile of cornerback Johnny Dixon.
Before Penn State: A Tampa, Florida, native, Dixon played high school football at Chamberlin. He started all four years, although he missed most of his junior season due to injury. Penn State was in Dixon’s top five, but he ultimately committed to the University of South Carolina on signing day in 2018.
2019: Started the season opener against North Carolina and played in all 12 games, used primarily on special teams.
2020: Started eight of South Carolina’s 10 games. Finished the season with 34 tackles (28 solo), five pass breakups and a recovered fumble. Announced transfer to Penn State three days after Christmas.
2021: In his first season at Penn State, Dixon played in 12 of the team’s 13 games, ending the year with eight solo tackles. Per Pro Football Focus, he played 163 snaps at wide cornerback, which was third-most among Penn State’s returning corners.
Where he stands: With starting corner Tariq Castro-Fields gone, it’s not 100 percent certain who will start opposite Joey Porter Jr. in Week 1 at Purdue.
Sophomore and former four-star recruit Kalen King seems to be the favorite. Even if King wins that second outside corner spot, Dixon (6-foot, 183 pounds) should give Penn State’s secondary an experienced depth piece.
A quote about Dixon
“He’s started games in the SEC,” Penn State corners coach and associate head coach Terry Smith said last spring. “He’s a hard worker, tremendous talent, tough, very good tackler and he fits into the room.”