Johnnie Dixon of Palm Beach Gardens is one of the top in-state receivers for the 2014 class.
Florida is thought to be the early favorite for the 6-foot, 175-pound speedster.
But Jack Daniels, his high school coach, believes the chances of him coming to UF took a hit Sunday with the news of former Dwyer quarterback Jacoby Brissett transferring from the football program.
“Johhnie is a Gator fan,” Daniels said. “The only thing that I thought would keep him from going to Florida is Jacoby leaving, so I’m not sure what will happen now. They are like brothers and Johnnie really wanted to play with him.”
Dixon hasn’t eliminated UF, but Brissett’s departure is a big blow for him.
“I’m still considering Florida, but it does bother me about Jacoby,” Dixon said. “If I were to go to Florida, he was going to be my mentor. I’ve known him for years and we’re really close. So it does hurt them with him gone, but I’m not dropping them or anything like that.”
Brissett is the third Dwyer player in the last two seasons to leave UF. Receiver Robert Clark and tight end Gerald Christian transferred to Lousiville in 2011. Junior safety Matt Elam, who was part of the same recruiting class as Clark and Christian, announced Wednesday that he will enter the NFL Draft.
Daniels said despite the recent history of his former players who signed with Florida, he won’t discourage Dixon from joining the Gators. He just wants him to make an educated decision.
“I won’t tell him not to go to Florida,” Daniels said. “But three of the last four players I’ve sent there have transferred, and two are going to be in the NFL one day. So I think he needs to make sure that Florida is the right for him and not just go because he roots for the Gators.”
Dixon doesn’t feel he would transfer if he went to UF because he’s going to see the field.
“I can’t really make my decision based on what happened with others,” Dixon said. “Those guys left because they weren’t playing enough, but I shouldn’t have that problem because Florida needs receivers. The coaches told me I’m one of their top targets at the position. So as long as I have an opportunity, I’ll be fine.”
Dixon claims no leaders at the this time and has over 10 offers, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State. He will attend Miami’s Junior Day this month and plans to return to UF in the summer for a camp.