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Penn State to add transfer cornerback with three years of eligibility remaining

BEN BREINER
The (Columbia) State (TNS)
South Carolina defensive back John Dixon celebrates after a South Carolina score against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. South Carolina won 41-7. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

When many college football players transfer, they get closer to home.

Former South Carolina corner John Dixon isn't doing that.

He's going much farther away.

The Tampa, Florida, product posted to social media Monday that he's committing to Penn State, mere days after putting his name in the NCAA transfer portal. He'll have three more years of eligibility after seeing a smaller role as a freshman and blossoming as a sophomore.

Dixon started eight games in 2020, a year after he started the opener as a true freshman and saw his role shrink. He got more work in 2020.

He will likely not have to sit out a season, since the NCAA is set to pass rules that allow transfers a one-time move without the traditional year-off penalty. That figures to make this an extremely busy transfer season. Penn State has already had two defensive linemen announce their decisions to enter the transfer portal in Antonio Shelton and Judge Culpepper. Another PSU defensive lineman, All-Big Ten performer Jayson Oweh, has announced his intention to enter the NFL draft in 20201.

Dixon, meanwhile, is joining a team with former South Carolina assistant John Scott Jr., who is PSU's defensive line coach.

Dixon made 34 tackles and broke up five passes this past season and was one of the few consistent presences on South Carolina's defense.

At PSU, Dixon will likely have an opportunity to start. The Lions' secondary will likely lose starters in senior cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields, senior safety Jaquan Brisker and senior safety Lamont Wade. All three of those players, however, could choose to return for another season, but that's far from a guarantee.

Redshirt freshman Joey Porter Jr. is expected to return as a starting corner for PSU.

Dixon is the second transfer that PSU has picked up since the end of the season, joining running back John Lovett from Baylor, who will be a senior graduate transfer for PSU.

The Centre Daily Times (TNS) contributed to this report.