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In-state OLB Lance Dixon excited by unexpected MSU offer
When Lance Dixon visited Michigan State for its first game of the season, he left with a message.
“The recruiting coordinator [Butler Benton] just told me that it was all up to Coach [Mark] Dantonio, so he was just waiting for him to say what he had to say,” the West Bloomfield (Mich.) junior linebacker said about a Spartans offer. “I wasn’t expecting it. He said what he had to say on Saturday.”
Indeed he did. Dixon came back to Spartan Stadium four weeks later to take in Michigan State’s win over Iowa. He got called to the middle of the field before kickoff.
There he spoke with Dantonio, who told him the Spartans had been watching his film since he came out for the first game. They had wanted to see his playmaking ability as the season progressed, and they did. So Dantonio extended an offer.
— Ace™ (@Lance__Dixon) September 30, 2017
“I was really excited,” said Dixon, a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite. “My parents were there, so I told them right when it happened.”
Both got excited, but maybe his mother more so than his father. She prefers the Spartans while his father prefers the Wolverines.
The timing of the offer caught Dixon a little by surprise, but he understood why it came. A couple weeks earlier his main recruiter, Michigan State quarterbacks coach Brad Salem, had come to West Bloomfield’s practice to see him play.
“I had a really good practice when he came,” said the 6-foot-3, 195-pound 2019 prospect. “I was making plays up and down the field during the 2-minute drill, and I was making plays the whole time. He saw that and probably liked it.”
Dixon, the No. 10 junior in Michigan, plays a safety-linebacker hybrid for the Lakers. Michigan State, he said, sees him playing strong-side linebacker, but he could also step in at safety because of his speed.
“I’m a big guy that can cover the best people on the field,” he said.
Dixon said he doesn’t quite know what he wants from a school. He’s long looked at programs as a fan, and now he has to transition to a perspective of whether he’d fit well in a program. After all, he already has offers from the Spartans, Iowa State, North Carolina State and Purdue, among others.
He knows what he likes about Michigan State. When 4-star in-state Spartans commits Dwan Mathis and Spencer Brown (whom he knows) reached out to congratulate him on the offer, it reminded him of those things.
“Definitely because it’s a national program and because it’s so close is probably what stands out,” Dixon said. “It’s only about an hour away from my house.”
Another 2019 LB to remember
Michigan State has kept up its relationship with 3-star Reynoldsburg (Ohio) linebacker Dezman Cooper, who most recently visited campus on Sept. 23 for the Notre Dame game. An offer has not come, but Cooper continues to feel the love. He received a graphic from the staff, which he shared Tuesday on Twitter.
— Dezman Cooper (@dezman0301) October 3, 2017
Like Dixon, the Spartans see Cooper playing outside linebacker. At 6-2 and 215 pounds, he described himself as a “pretty good downhill guy” who reads plays well, gets off blocks and takes good angles.
Only Miami (Ohio) has offered, but Cooper has long been receiving interest from schools such as Michigan State, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Ohio State. If the Spartans continue to look for linebackers to offer, he’ll likely be on the shortlist.
In focus: Michigan State commit highlights
We’ve had this feature weekly since the high school season kicked off, and this was clearly the most action-packed weekend of highlights from Michigan State commits.
We already showed you a kickoff return touchdown from 4-star Pickerington (Ohio) Central star Xavier Henderson and the do-it-all performance of Belleville (Mich.) cornerback Davion Williams, which you can watch here. Now check out these other five highlights from future Spartans.
1. This pass looked like a sure interception until 4-star Pickerington Central tight end Trenton Gillison came to the rescue.
2. Michigan State’s largest commit, 4-star Woodland (Stockbridge, Ga.) offensive tackle James Ohonba, picked up a fumble and went rumbling down the sideline.
3. How about this touchdown run from new Spartans running back commit Elijah Collins of University of Detroit Jesuit?
4. Don’t get in front of Chardon (Ohio) linebacker Chase Kline, because he’ll lay you out on his way to the quarterback.
5. Somehow this didn’t get picked off, but it should’ve. Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio) defensive end Zachary Slade fought his way to the QB and disrupted a pass that hung in the air forever before falling incomplete.
Miss any of The Green Room? Check out our archive here.
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