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Penn State CB Johnny Dixon not With Team for Peach Bowl Preparation

Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Johnny Dixon (3) November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

ATLANTA — Penn State head coach James Franklin addressed the elephant in the room Friday morning regarding the whereabouts of CB Johnny Dixon.

Dixon is not currently with the team for bowl preparations in Atlanta.

He hasn’t publicly opted out of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, but it has been widely speculated he could forego the bowl game in preparation for the NFL Draft. Franklin confirmed in a joint press conference with Ole Miss HC Lane Kiffin Friday morning that Dixon will not be playing in the game on Saturday.

“Johnny Dixon is not with the team currently,” Franklin said.

Franklin had no further explanation regarding Dixon and what’s next for him.

Leading up to Friday’s press conference, Dixon had not been seen during the media viewing periods in the three practice sessions in Atlanta as well as the viewing period during the team’s bowl media day.

Dixon’s absence will be felt in a big way for Penn State. The cornerback was amongst the defensive MVP’s this season as announced at the annual team banquet earlier this month.

The senior cornerback started all 10 games for Penn State during the 2023 regular season amassing 21 tackles, 16 of which were solo. He added an interception, four tackles for loss and three sacks.

His absence and lack of information regarding his absence is a bizarre situation for a Penn State program that’s prided itself on players who continue playing in bowl games, but are transparent in their decisions regarding opting in or out of bowl games or declaring for the NFL Draft.

Dixon has no more eligibility left, so his absence will now be an extra opportunity for cornerbacks on the Penn State roster who are looking to make a bigger impact to wrap up the season.

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