247Sports Boosts Penn State Early Enrollee Lance Dixon To Five-Star Status
247Sports released its final group of five-star prospects for the Class of 2019 Tuesday afternoon, and it featured two of Penn State’s early enrollees.
As expected, Brandon Smith came in at the No. 12 overall player and No. 1 inside linebacker in the country. The second, however, came as a surprise, with linebacker Lance Dixon receiving a fifth star and slotting in at No. 13 overall and into the top spot among outside linebackers.
Dixon jumped 36 spots, which was the fourth highest bump for any of the 32 five-star prospects. Both of Penn State’s prospects are now the two highest-rated linebackers in the nation for the 2019 recruiting class.
“Dixon has length, freakish verified athleticism and fantastic film that features him all over the field,” 247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons said. “He showed at the All-American Bowl that the physicality is there.”
Penn State was able to pull Dixon out of Michigan over offers from Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State. With a 6’2″, 201-lb. frame, he could factor into the rotation next year at linebacker due to a lack of depth otherwise. Brandon Smith is more likely to become a day one contributor due to his 6’4″, 228-lb. frame. Both are considered elite athletes for their size and position.
Dixon played in the All-American Bowl in Texas, while Smith played in the Under Armour All-American game in Florida before enrolling at Penn State in January. Both stood out in their respective games; Smith also received a slight upgrade of two spots.
While ratings and stars carry no value once a player arrives on campus, they’re typically indicative of future success. Smith and Dixon will join a room that features upcoming sophomores Micah Parsons, Jesse Luketa, and Ellis Brooks, so the future of Linebacker U appears to be in good hands.
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“When they call my name on graduation day, and I stand up and cross that stage, I know in my heart that this has been a collaborative effort.”
Blazer testified that he was contacted by a Penn State assistant in 2009 who was the father of one of Blazer’s NFL clients. The assistant asked Blazer to pay a player $10,000 so that he would not enter the NFL Draft. Blazer complied, handing a $10,000 check to the father of that player, but the player ended up in the 2009 NFL Draft and was selected No. 11 overall.
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