Keeping Score

Southern Miss gets big defensive verbal commitment

The Southern Miss football team has received another verbal commitment from a junior college standout.

Lackawanna (Pa.) College defensive end Derrick Dixon informed the USM staff of his commitment Monday night, choosing the Golden Eagles over Houston and Cincinnati.

Dixon becomes the second player from Lackawanna to commit to USM after tight end Julian Allen was one of seven junior college players to sign with the Golden Eagles in December. With four more verbal commitments, USM is on pace to have 11 new junior college players on the 2015 roster.

Dixon has three years of eligibility remaining.

Dixon, who visited the Hattiesburg campus this past weekend, said that the coaching staff plans to use him at the bandit position.

“When I was up there, it felt like it was family oriented,” Dixon said. “Coach (Jon) Williams was by my side the whole time. He was a big part of my decision plus former teammate, Julian, let me know it felt good for him. I trust his word and it made feel like I was part of the team.”

Dixon said he chose USM over Cincinnati and Houston because “it felt like a better fit.”

Dixon left Hattiesburg encouraged by what he heard from the players and coaching staff.

“They said it was the best feeling for them for a while,” Dixon said. “(Receiver) James Cox was my host and he said their chemistry was at its best.”

Dixon plans to arrive in Hattiesburg this summer.

“I feel great right now,” he said. “I'm ready to get up there and start this season.”

Dixon, who stands 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, registered a team-high 7.5 sacks at Lackawanna last season.