West Bloomfield High School has become a must-stop for college football coaches who recruit the state of Michigan. Two years ago, head coach Ron Bellamy had Trishton Jackson, one of the best athletes in the state at that time.
Jackson is now a sophomore starter at Michigan State, but Bellamy again has a roster full of Division 1 athletes. Even on a team which has two Power 5 commits and several more players who will play on Saturdays, junior linebacker Lance Dixon stands out as another West Bloomfield recruit with rare traits.
“The kid ran 21.9 in the 200-meter dash, 50.1 in the 400 meters at 200 pounds,” Bellamy said. “He is an athletic freak.”
Going into his junior season, the freak athleticism and the speed was known. How Dixon would transition to playing more toward the line of scrimmage was not known, but the former safety has adapted quickly. He has the physicality of a linebacker, but still has the cover skills to move out and cover slots like a safety.
That has led to more schools contacting Bellamy about Dixon, and more scholarship offers for him.
Dixon visited Michigan State for their home game against Iowa. Before the game, he walked out to mid-field with head coach Mark Dantonio and was offered a scholarship by the Spartans.
“Michigan State offering me is definitely a big deal, and they are definitely one of the top schools on my list,” he said.
The Spartans love his versatility.
“They want me to play mainly linebacker, but they’ve also talked about how they could move me to the safety position because of my speed,” Dixon said.
Fast, aggressive linebackers have been a regular site in East Lansing. Still, Dixon’s 6-foot-3 frame and length make him a rare breed.
Michigan State’s 2019 class has two in-state prospects, Oak Park quarterback Dwan Mathis, and Walled Lake Western offensive tackle Spencer Brown, as the foundation of the class. With a talent-heavy group in the state, the Spartans are looking to add more home-grown talent.
Dixon has joined the wanted list.
He likely will join that list for more schools as the process moves on. He admits the recent recruiting rush has been nice, but he has not allowed that to alter his mindset or focus.
“I’ve just been staying the same person,” he said. “I haven’t changed, I’ve grown a little bit. I guess it’s cool that people know my name.”
MSU offers Georgia athlete
Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes senior Michael Barrett was offered by Michigan State last week.
Barrett is a 5-foot-11, 207-pound quarterback who has posted big numbers from that position, but may project to other positions in college.
Michigan, LSU, South Carolina, NC State, Maryland, Georgia Tech and others also have offered.
Indications are that Michigan State is leaving the position open-ended, and is recruiting Barrett as an athlete.
Indiana junior offered by MSU
West Lafayette (Ind.) defensive end George Karlaftis, one of the top recruits in the Midwest’s 2019 class, was offered by Michigan State earlier in the month.
The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Karlaftis has additional offers from Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue and more.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.