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)
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