Penn State football: Cornerback Johnny Dixon accepts Reese’s Senior Bowl invite

Dixon joins defensive end Adisa Isaac and is the second Nittany Lions to accept an invite to the Senior Bowl ahead of the NFL draft.
Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Johnny Dixon
Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Johnny Dixon / Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Two Penn State underclassmen, Chop Robinson and Theo Johnson, have already declared for the 2024 NFL Draft, but they won’t be the only two Nittany Lions to hear their names announced in the spring. Senior cornerback and former South Carolina transfer Johnny Dixon has accepted an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. 

Dixon will join redshirt senior defensive end Adisa Isaac, who has already accepted his invitation to the prestigious pre-draft event in Mobile Alabama. That brings the number of Nittany Lions likely to be drafted up to six, with consensus All-American offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, Robinson, Johnson, Isaac, Dixon, and cornerback Kalen King, who is likely to declare as an underclassman. 

As a senior, Dixon filled a hybrid cornerback role for the Nittany Lions, starting opposite, potential first-round pick, King on the outside and playing as a pass-rushing nickel corner. The Nittany Lions finished No. 1 in the country in total defense and with the No. 4 pass defense. Dixon finished his senior year with 26 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble, three pass breakups, and an interception. 

The pass rush was crucial to Penn State’s defensive success under former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Dixon was second on the team in sacks, only behind Isaac. His primary utility at the next level could be as a nickel corner, who is constantly around the line of scrimmage.

In 2022, Dixon appeared in all 13 games but was behind King and current Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter Jr. at cornerback. He put together a season with 23 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble, eight pass breakups, and two interceptions. At 6-foot 191 pounds, he could be a disruptive force in an NFL secondary.

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