West Bloomfield’s Lance Dixon is committed to Penn State. He had offers from Michigan and Michigan State, but found the right fit in Happy Valley.
Joey Delgado, For the Detroit Free Press
Editor’s note: Lance Dixon is a 6-foot-2, 201-pound linebacker at West Bloomfield. He has committed to play football at Penn State and is expected to sign with the Nittany Lions on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. This is his story:
I chose Pennsylvania State University not only for its prestigious football program, but the academic opportunities at Penn State are tremendous. I strongly believe Penn State perpetuates values that perfectly align with my own. Integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence, and community, are a few of the values that I hold, and to have an institution hold the same values is incredible.
My recruitment was a blessing and I understand the sacrifices my parents made were for me to reach this moment. My first offer came from Temple University (sophomore season) and at that instant, I knew I had a shot to pick up more offers. I attended various camps around the country and settled on a top five going into my senior season. My top five choices were Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State. I chose to focus on Big Ten schools not only because of the historical admiration, but also in my heart, it will give my family an opportunity to attend every game. That was something that was very important to me.
My final five schools I sent out to learn more about varied in many ways. Wisconsin has an unbelievable campus with a pretty darn good football program and the coaching staff is very solid. Michigan State is a state treasure and Coach (Mark) Dantonio and his program have been dominant. Michigan was intriguing because my high school defense runs a version of Michigan’s defense and I played the coveted “Viper” position. Ohio State has always been well represented as a Big Ten power and a staple for NFL prospects. Penn State is known as Linebacker U and who wouldn’t want to play for an energetic, fun coach like James Franklin?.
Being a Michigan kid, it was difficult to tell Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and Coach Dantonio I was not going to stay in state. I camped at Penn State twice, once going into my junior season and the other going into my senior season. If you’ve ever been to Beaver Stadium, also known as Happy Valley, you would understand why I get chills every time I step foot into that stadium. My first game day experience was when the Nittany Lions hosted the Michigan Wolverines on Oct. 21, 2017. The “White Out” game as it is affectionately known around the country is what gravitated my attention away from the other schools and was an eye-opening experience for my family and I. Saquon Barkley and company were able to dominate the Wolverines and at that moment, my interest for the Nittany Lions grew.
Lastly, I believe the opportunities that Penn State provides its students ensures that they are producing well-rounded leaders upon graduation. In conclusion, by choosing Penn State University, I am ultimately choosing to not only elevate my athleticism and my overall football career by joining one of the best teams in the nation, I will be elevating so much more. By becoming a lion, I am essentially becoming the best version of myself, a leader, a change maker, and I am excited to learn and grow and become who I am meant to be.
Lance T. Dixon