4-star TE Bryce Dixon committed to USC during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game on Saturday.
Dixon is considered the No. 2 tight end in the nation, and his commitment to Troy gives USC the best tight end corps in the country. It already features NFL-caliber talent in Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer, and Dixon has the skill set to be a great addition to head coach Steve Sarkisian's new offense.
After announcing his decision, Dixon spoke to the media about why USC is the best fit for him:
"USC has a good tradition of tight ends. They're bringing coach Sark in. It'll be a great addition and I think I can keep the tradition going of good tight ends."
Bryce Dixon crediting USC's TE tradition, something Sark heavily emphasized in his intro— Kyle Kensing (@kensing45) January 4, 2014
Less than an hour after Dixon, 4-star WR Rahshead Johnson committed to USC, in what was a surprising decision. With Marqise Lee declaring for the NFL draft on Friday night, the addition of Johnson lessens the blow of Lee's departure.
While Dixon will need to gain some weight before he is ready to contribute, the depth he brings alone at tight end is a score for USC. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is the only other scholarship tight end the Trojans have after Grimble and Telfer, and we haven't seen much of him yet.
Telfer and Grimble (if he elects to return for his senior season) will graduate next year, so Cope-Fitzpatrick and Dixon will spend 2014 learning on the practice field before becoming starters themselves.
USC has four stud tight ends, and the opportunities to fully utilize them in the Trojan offense are endless.
The 6'4", 220-pound tight end was a star at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, Calif. What makes him such an important get for the Trojans is that he has excellent hands and top-end speed. Since Sarkisian will be looking to feed the tight ends the ball more in his new scheme, Dixon already fits the mold for what Sarkisian is looking for at that position.
Like the veterans he would learn under, he can hold onto the ball in traffic as well as catch balls over the middle. He will need to improve his blocking skills before he sees the field, however.
While Dixon was thought to be a UCLA lean for much of his recruitment, the opportunity to play early likely had an impact on his decision. USC picked up an elite player at a position of need, and thought he will take an official visit to UCLA later this month, he said during the Army All-American Bowl that his decision is set.
With Dixon and Johnson in the mix, USC has 16 commits in the class of 2014, and Sarkisian is making good on his word of shoring up depth at positions of need.