Cristian Dixon, Wolverine

Cristian Dixon, Wolverine

June 25, 2020
Cristian Dixon (image via SI)

Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei wide receiver Cristian Dixon committed to Michigan on Thursday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Auburn, Cal, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC, among others.

Dixon is listed at 6’2″ and 187 lbs. He claims a 4.63 forty, a 4.57 shuttle, and a 32.3″ vertical. As a junior in 2019, he caught 35 passes for 611 yards and 6 touchdowns.

ESPN: 4-star, 84 grade, #26 WR, #143 overall
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #32 WR, #175 overall
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #96 WR

Hit the jump for more on Dixon’s commitment.

As a sophomore in 2018, Dixon caught 42 passes for 862 yards and 9 touchdowns at Diamond Ranch. He then transferred to Mater Dei, where his junior stats did not show much of a progression. But caveats about learning a new offense and syncing up with new teammates apply. Still, some of the sites saw enough to ding him in their rankings. Meanwhile, Michigan extended an offer in January, and the vast majority of California offers seem meaningless because those kids seem to pick Pac-12 schools or even head to the SEC. However, things started trending up for Michigan during the COVID-19 shutdown, culminating with a commitment to the Wolverines.

I like Dixon’s frame. He has long arms and good size overall that should see him continue to bulk up to around 210 pounds or so eventually. He shows the ability to vary his releases to prevent defenders from getting into his body in press man coverage, and he has the strength to shake off smaller corners. I like his acceleration, and he gets to top speed rather quickly. He also does a good job of shielding defenders away from the ball and protecting the ball when going into traffic.

What I don’t like about Dixon are two main things: 1) a lack of great separation and 2) a lack of short-area quickness. Both of those may be related. While Dixon’s large frame comes in handy at times, it also hurts him. He can be slow to get in and out of his breaks, and his running after the catch is just so-so. Making people miss doesn’t seem to be a strong suit, and he sometimes stops his feet after contact.

Overall, Dixon seems to be a nice possession receiver with some upside as a guy who could make tough, contested catches. He’s not likely to take the top off the defense, nor is he likely to take short passes and turn them into huge plays. What he can be is an Adrian Arrington-type player, and if he’s surrounded by the right guys, they might make Dixon seem better than he is.

Michigan now has 19 commitments in the 2021 class, including two wide receivers, Dixon and Clayton (OH) Northmont’s Markus Allen (LINK). Michigan is still working hard on adding Fresno (CA) Central East’s Xavier Worthy and perhaps one more receiver in the class, with the numbers likely ending up at either 3 or 4.

Michigan has not landed a recruit from Mater Dei since fullback Scott Panique in the late 1990s, a guy I do not remember at all. However, 2020 cornerback signee Darion Green-Warren did play at Mater Dei through his junior year before transferring for his senior season.

TTB Rating: 75 (ratings explanation)


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jun 25, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    I hope so. While I do think we need a guy or two on the outside with size, I have read a lot to question how he fits the ‘speed in space’ concept

    “if he’s surrounded by the right guys, they might make Dixon seem better than he is”

  2. Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Jun 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM

    Given his story and then Thunder’s comments before I watched any video caused me to think that I was going to see a kid maybe not going quite so hard because he knew he was that fourth option. But happily, I didn’t see that at all.

    A couple of the shots he takes here where he stops moving his feet were big time thumps. The last one in particular made me wish we had that kid coming in at Safety.

    He’s far from slippery and nowhere nears as twitchy as the other California receiver we’re after, but he can make you miss and doesn’t want to fall down.

    At least one of the corners he wasn’t separating off of made me think a little of the tiny nickel corner we have coming in this year. It could have been the same kid twice … not sure. Actually, most of the guys covering him on this vid were pretty coached up, athletic little corners. I think he was routinely getting peoples best kid for being put out on an island as I don’t think I saw him lining up in the bunch.

    Then, he works to the holes pretty nice when stuff goes wrong and blocks downfield.

    I don’t think I’ll quibble with 75, but I think I like him a little better than Thunder does.

    • Comments: 1357
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Jun 26, 2020 at 8:03 AM

      The kid I want is Xavier Worthy. I think he might be special in an AC kind of way.

      • Comments: 1357
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Jun 26, 2020 at 8:07 AM

        I checked Scott Panique. Sadly he died young. From his obit, he walked on here at fullback. Got an orange bowl win.

        • Comments: 3845
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jun 26, 2020 at 6:28 PM

          Interesting. I didn’t google him or anything until you brought it up. That’s too bad. With 100+ players on the roster each year, it’s interesting to think of how many former Michigan players pass away each year. Many of them have been forgotten by current Michigan fans.

          It looks like Panique was a high school offensive guard who played fullback at Michigan, hitting 258 pounds during his college career. That’s a big fullback.

  3. Comments: 16
    Joined: 9/2/2018
    Jun 26, 2020 at 2:08 PM

    If I remember correctly, Jason Forcier was a starter at Mater Dei before transferring his senior year.

  4. Comments: 20
    Joined: 6/19/2020
    Jun 26, 2020 at 2:18 PM

    32.3″ vertical is an awfully specific number for a guy to be fudging it. I hope his numbers are legit. 6 TDs last year is not four star performance though. Was he injured or something?

    • Comments: 1863
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      Jun 26, 2020 at 4:14 PM

      He was new to the team, with three other D1 Receivers as options. I am not convinced that’s enough to keep him from standing out late in the season, but it’s what has been reported

  5. Comments: 295
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Jun 29, 2020 at 1:24 PM

    Here is what I said about Markus Allen. Fittingly, it’s about what I’d say for Dixon too. To me, they are almost identical:
    “He reminds me of Kekoa Crawford. About the same size, speed and expectations. He may be a dependable piece down the road but not really someone that’s going to excite people right now. Hopefully, he does more than Kekoa did for UM.”

    I’d rank Dixon about the same 75 on TTB rating.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jun 29, 2020 at 3:19 PM

      Crawford was more highly regarded as a recruit and many thought he’d be an instant impact.

      Interesting to note that Crawford was considered to be a slot while Dixon is pure outside. A lot can change in 4 years.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 29, 2020 at 3:47 PM

      I liked Crawford for his ability to run after the catch. He ran like a running back. We didn’t see much of that at Michigan. And I don’t see similar attributes in Dixon for his ability to get yards after the catch.

  6. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jun 29, 2020 at 5:42 PM

    I liked the WR who ended up with sparty, but got into SA trouble. At the time, I preferred getting the local talent (thus keeping him out of sparty hands)

    Neither worked out. Shocker

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 29, 2020 at 6:00 PM

      I assume you’re talking about Donnie Corley.

      • Comments: 1863
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        Jun 29, 2020 at 7:49 PM

        Yeah, that’s him

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