Penn State linebacker room got a little thinner today as redshirt sophomore Lance Dixon entered the NCAA transfer portal.
2019 4-star LB Lance Dixon has entered the transfer portal after redshirting as a true freshman (played in 3 games) and totaling 10 tackles and 2.5 TFL in 2020 at Penn State @rivalsmike @RivalsWoody @NateBauerBWI @RivalsSnyder https://t.co/x4CjNvngr1— NCAA Transfer Portal (@RivalsPortal) January 28, 2021
Dixon redshirted in 2019 after appearing in three games. His role increased in 2020 when Micah Parsons opted out, with Dixon playing in all nine games including one start. Despite the start, Dixon had a quiet year overall, finishing the season with just 10 tackles and 2.5 TFLs.
At 6-foot-2, 221 pounds, Dixon is a rangy athlete that has great speed and quickness for the position. He was oddly put at the Will linebacker spot — one of the two box linebacker spots in Penn State’s defense — this season, but his longterm potential would have been highest at the Sam — the linebacker in Brent Pry’s defense that plays outside the box and has more coverage responsibilities.
Dixon was expected to compete for a starting role at the Sam this offseason, with his chief competition being former five-star recruit Curtis Jacob. Now, that position looks to be Jacobs’ to lose. Of course, Dixon could still come back — just because he’s in the portal does not mean he has to stay there. That being said, Dixon’s former high school head coach Ron Bellamy was just hired to Michigan’s staff, and considering Dixon liked this tweet from current Michigan safety:
WB to AA— MAKARI PAIGE ¹ᵏ (@makaripaige) January 24, 2021
Well, you can read the tea leaves.