During his National Signing Day press conference James Franklin said the Nittany Lions would be busy in the transfer portal this offseason, and it looks like Franklin was not lying. Last week, the Nittany Lions added Baylor running back John Lovett via the transfer portal. On Monday, the Nittany Lions made their second transfer portal addition of the offseason in the form of South Carolina cornerback John Dixon.
I want to say I’m thankful for the staff at USC and my brothers that still play there. After a lot of thought and prayer Me and my family have made the decision for me to transfer and play for The Penn State University. #Weare #Nittanynation @CoachTerryPSU @coachjfranklin pic.twitter.com/E9zEWOazTv— BET ON ME (@JohnnyDixon_) December 28, 2020
Dixon comes to Penn State carrying true sophomore eligibility which means he will have three seasons of eligbility with the Nittany Lions. As a true freshman in 2019 Dixon played in all 12 games for South Carolina. In 2020, Dixon appeared in 10 games including eight starts. Dixon finished his Gamecock career with 37 tackles, a tackle for a loss, one interception, and five pass break ups.
During his recruitment Dixon, a native of Florida, had a lot of interest in Penn State. He was a defensive back target of the Nittany Lions during the 2019 recruiting cycle, and is childhood friends with 2018 signee Jordan Miner who has since had his career ended due to a heart condition.
Dixon will join a talented and crowded cornerback room. Joey Porter Jr. will return as a starter in 2021, while both Keaton Ellis and Marquis Wilson have played big roles in the Nittany Lion defense their first two years on campus. Redshirt freshman Daequan Hardy saw a lot of minutes in 2020 and it is not yet known if Tariq Castro-Fields will go pro or use his extra year of eligibility to return with the Nittany Lions in 2021. Also, Kalen King will enroll next month and appears capable of playing as a true freshman.
Regardless of how things shake out, Terry Smith and Brent Pry should be very happy with their options for cornerback next fall. Welcome to Happy Valley, John!