LYNN HAVEN — Nat Dixon performed a hat trick on Wednesday.
The Mosley standout increased the anticipation of where he’d play college football next season until the last moment. The wide receiver narrowed his choices to four Football Bowl Subdivision schools, each represented by a baseball cap in front of him and his parents while seated in front of a packed Marvin McCain Technology Center. Dixon didn’t keep the people waiting much longer.
Boston College won the services of the 6-foot-4, 190-pound athlete, whose leaping ability and speed make him an intriguing prospect on the next level. Dixon’s overall skills as a pass catcher are still raw and being honed, but his potential attracted the attention of USF, Western Kentucky and Troy University, among others.
Dixon wasn’t the only Dolphin to share in the day’s festivities, as Christian Childree, Jeff Hall, Banton Price and Ryan Rogers also cemented college futures. Hall and Rogers will play at FAMU in Tallahassee and Price and Childree were among three area athletes to pick Faulkner in Montgomery, Ala.
Dixon also was a standout basketball player and entertained playing the sport in college. He said Troy was the best option to continue his hoops career and the Trojans were in the running until Wednesday morning.
“I made the decision when I woke up,” Dixon said. “I had to make the decision that was best for me.”
Boston College offers the biggest stage of the four finalists. The Eagles play in the Atlantic Coast Conference and will travel to Tallahassee to face defending national champion Florida State next season. Boston College’s roster also is in transition with Dixon noting only a few scholarship wide receivers set to return.
This opens the possibility for early playing time. And none of it would have been on the horizon without Mosley football coach Jeremy Brown.
Dixon grabbed the microphone and told the adoring crowd that he debated not playing football last season. Brown convinced him to come out to play. The lure ended with a 1,000-yard season and nine touchdowns for Dixon.
“I had no idea,” said Dixon of envisioning signing a FBS scholarship offer. “He instilled a lot of faith in me. I was showcased.”
Dixon’s flashy catches and returns opened eyes. And while the ultimate level, the National Football League, is a distant dream right now, he said there’s much room for improvement.
“I believe the sky’s the limit,” Dixon said. “The only limitations are ones I put on myself. I need to take my time, learn and be a student of the game.”
New Rattlers: Hall (6-4, 280) attracted FAMU’s attention on the first day of spring practice in 2013, Brown said. He was offered a scholarship the same week and could be blocking for Rogers again in the future.
The tandem helped Rogers gain more than 1,400 yards and score 15 touchdowns. Rogers doesn’t wow anyone with his size at 5-11, 180, but there has been precedent for success by previous smaller area running backs at FAMU. Marianna’s Philip Sylvester was an eventual starter for FAMU and earned a brief stay with the Atlanta Falcons after tipping the scales at only 190 and standing two inches shorter.
Faulkner excitement: Price and Childree shined in their final seasons with the Dolphins and Brown said Faulkner coaches expect the duo to contribute early for the NAIA school.
Childree (5-10, 220) was a 1,000-yard rusher and willed Mosley to wins in late-season games in helping the Dolphins capture the Bay County title and a third-place finish in the competitive District 1-5A. Brown said Faulkner coaches were impressed by Childree’s hardnosed running and his developing prowess as a receiver out of the backfield.
Price (6-2, 230) was a pass-rushing nightmare from linebacker with an area-leading nine sacks last season. He will transition to defensive end at Faulkner and is expected to challenge for playing time as a freshman.