Mario Nixon only has a season and a half of high school football experience, but what he displayed in a limited time was enough to garner a scholarship offer from the University of Virginia. Nixon, a 6-5, 210-pound wide receiver/safety out of Norfolk Christian (Norfolk, VA), scored the offer in late February.
“It was huge,” Nixon said of receiving the offer. “It’s a big blessing. Last year was my first full year playing football, so I think it speaks volumes to how hard I’ve worked. I want to be the best.
“I’m real humbled. It’s a big opportunity. Virginia is a big-time school, plus it is big academically.”
A 2010 VIS Division III first-team all-state selection at wide receiver, Nixon hauled in 31 receptions for 600 yards while helping Norfolk Christian to the VIS D3 state championship. A safety on defense, he totaled 38 tackles, six pass break-ups and four interceptions. Most college coaches, though, are recruiting Nixon to play offense and that suits him just fine.
“I’d like to play receiver,” said Nixon, who in addition to the Virginia offer is receiving interest from Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, N.C. State, ODU and Virginia Tech.
A standout on Norfolk Christian’s varsity basketball squad, Nixon is averaging close to 15 points and eight rebounds per game this season. Nixon’s basketball abilities have proven useful on the gridiron as well.
“When I play wide receiver, I pretty much play like I’m playing basketball. Instead of jumping to get the rebound, I’m jumping to get the ball,” Nixon said. “That’s how I approach it.”
When it comes to making his college choice, Nixon first has to decide which sport he wants to play. He has yet to receive an offer for basketball, but schools such as Appalachian State, Liberty and Old Dominion have expressed serious interest. Nixon has no timetable for when he will make the choice, but he did say he won’t be a 2-sport athlete in college.
On the football recruiting front, the Tidewater area standout plans to visit some schools this spring. Virginia and Virginia Tech are pretty much certainties, and N.C. State is serious possibility as well. Nixon has visited UVa before for a basketball game. He looks forward to returning to Charlottesville and visiting Blacksburg as well. Currently, the in-state...
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