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Trieu: Michigan steps up its west game in pursuit of Santa Ana (Calif.) receiver Dixon

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan now holds two 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei wide receiver Cristian Dixon.

The player is not at a point in his recruitment where he is committing soon. But Michigan is recruiting him and that has moved the Wolverines up on his offer list. Dixon's offer list includes West Coast schools along with Nebraska and LSU.

The Wolverines have no commitments from California thus far in the 2021 class, but signed two from the state in the 2020 class with offensive tackle Jeff Persi and cornerback Darion Green-Warren.

“Michigan is recruiting him really hard,” said 247Sports analyst Greg Biggins, who put in one of the predictions for Dixon and Michigan. “They have made him a main priority, he has a great relationship with Josh Gattis and is friends with Darion Green-Warren. They’ve talked quite a bit and Darion is selling Michigan and what a great school it is.”

Christian Dixon

In addition to those relationships, Michigan also has several other elements Dixon is searching for in a school.

“Cristian always wanted to go to big-time football school with a big-time atmosphere and Michigan fits all that,” Biggins said. “He never visited before and would like to do that before he makes a decision. Michigan checks off boxes as far as relationships, the football program, and he has no issue leaving home.”

Michigan offered later than some of the other schools on Dixon’s list, but the Wolverines’ quick rise has been led by Gattis.

“He’s a cool dude, great coach,” Dixon said. “Very passionate about football and definitely someone I can see myself getting coached by. I’m very interested. It's Michigan, what’s there not to like? The rivalry between Ohio State, the traditions, just everything.”

Dixon caught 42 passes for 862 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore at Diamond Ranch High School. He transferred to Mater Dei, where Green-Warren spent part of his high school career, and missed part of camp with an injury. Biggins said that put him behind some in learning a new and sophisticated offense.

He caught up though, and despite being on a team with several other offensive weapons, finished his junior year with 35 receptions, 611 yards and six touchdowns.

Michigan has one receiver commit, Markus Allen from Ohio. Both Allen and Dixon are bigger than what the Wolverines brought in at the position in 2020. Dixon measures 6-foot-2 and nearly 190 pounds with still the ability to get down the field at that size.

“He runs well, has good speed, could be a deep threat and is pretty good after the catch,” Biggins said. “He shows some ability to go over the middle and take a shot. He actually catches the ball pretty naturally. He’s smooth. He has the potential to be a deep threat as well as someone who you can be pretty comfortable going to him on third down.”

247Sports rates Dixon a four-star recruit.

K.C. prospect likes Michigan

Kansas City (Mo.) Lincoln Prep defensive end Tobechi Okoli, an athletic 6-foot-5, 255-pound senior-to-be, has put Michigan in his top eight.

The Wolverines are joined by Missouri, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia on his list.

Okoli only started playing football as a junior, but quickly showed the talent to play at a high-major level.

He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 6 class of 2021 prospect in the state of Missouri.

Also an excellent student, academics will be a major part of his college decision.

UM offers River Rouge's Miles

Michigan has offered River Rouge defensive end Davonte Miles, who started for the state champion Panthers.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Miles has additional offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan State and more.

Miles also carries a 3.5-grade point average in the classroom.

He visited Michigan for a Junior Day at the end of February.

More information

Cristian Dixon profile

Tobechi Okoli profile

Davonte Miles profile

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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.