Plenty of prospects, some of them high-profile, others under-the-radar, have come and gone in the past decade or so, since the inception of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Still, the talent level across the board on the national scene has been about as good as it gets.
Things don’t figure to change anytime soon as the hype continues to build for this year’s games: Dec. 17 and Jan. 29 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, also Jan. 5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium and Jan. 14 at Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium.
To gain a better understanding about the rapidly growing direction of things, perhaps now it’s best to take some time to reflect on the humble beginnings. Therefore, moving forward, the plan is to more closely examine the brand’s many alumni from all over the country.
Keisean Nixon from Salesion (CA) is the focus. A member of the Class of 2015, he first opened eyes at the brand’s All-American Combine (Southern California Regional). An invite followed to the game at Raymond James Stadium as South defeated North, 39-14.
Nixon, on a short list of few, was thought to have the ability to potentially limit the offensive firepower of peers such as Boston College commit Chris Lindstrom, Michigan commit Karan Higdon, Samford commit Kelvin McKnight and Boston College commit Jeff Smith.
Turned out, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, back then, Nixon sacrificed today for tomorrow. He turned his focus to the future. Specifically, the next level. The first stop was Junior College at Arizona Western. The quick trip ultimately led to a home in the SEC.
Nowadays, and obviously well-traveled, Nixon is patrolling the secondary for South Carolina. The 5-foot-10 and 193-pound senior defensive back will soon be in action, in fact, as the Gamecocks play Clemson in a nonconference game on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. (EST).
A statement game this season came in a 48-44 conference victory against Ole Miss, with 13 tackles, seven solo stops, and a sack. No fluke, the next week, Nixon followed up the effort with nine tackes, three unassisted, in a 35-31 conference loss to Florida.
As a junior, eager to prove that he belonged, Nixon did just that, albeit in limited action for South Carolina. With a role on special teams at first, then a contributor on defense shortly thereafter, he finished with two interceptions and a hand in three other turnovers.
Fast forward, to the here and now, the journey continues. Lining up in the NFL is within reason, too. Not long ago, however, his path essentially started with the brand’s All-American Combine in California and an invite to the All-American Bowl in Florida.