West Virginia didn’t utilize a tight end too often in the 2020 season. Last season, tight end Mike O’Laughlin caught 15 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. Besides that, WVU didn’t make much use of its tight ends — on the stat sheet at least.
If 2023 tight end Markus Dixon has anything to say, he’ll change that set-up for WVU in the years to come.
Dixon, a tight end recruit out of Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania, stands at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. A physically imposing passing and blocking threat out from across the line of scrimmage, Dixon has been offered by Syracuse, Texas A&M and Maryland already.
A tight end on the football team and a forward on the basketball team, Dixon’s athleticism and prowess on both the field and the court was enough to draw the attention of WVU and co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Chad Scott. Dixon said he had an excellent phone call with Scott.
“He mentioned what he liked in my game besides my physical frame,” Dixon said. “The offer felt like a blessing, but I knew that it doesn’t stop here. I have to work even harder.”
While 2019 state champion Archbishop Wood experienced a down — and shortened — season in a loaded Philadelphia Catholic League (featuring top Pennsylvania teams like St. Joesph’s Prep, Malvern Prep and LaSalle College) in 2020, Dixon was able to gain his first taste of varsity football as a sophomore. He may not have been a huge contributor in the offense, but he’s primed for a breakout junior season with the Vikings.
Playing at the same high school new Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts played his prep ball, Dixon feels his game flashes natural comparisons to the former Florida Gator tight end.
“I feel [Kyle Pitts] is the best comparison that comes across my game because he can flex out and still dominate at the tight end position,” Dixon said. “I feel I do offer the same type of approach as Kyle Pitts to the game.”
With Dixon’s basketball background, he should excel at leaping and high pointing the ball, something previous basketball-to-football tight ends have flashed. Dixon is quick off the line and his strong hands can bring it balls all across his body — which at 6-foot-5, 230 — is already very developed for a rising junior.
Stock Rise Combine Feature #7
Markus Dixon – Archbishop Wood
Class of 2023 TE 6'4, 224 and Super athletic. @markus1dixon holds an offer from Syracuse and I see why! Same HS as Kyle Pitts and some compare him to the Dynamic TE. He will be a Big Time TE in the right hands! pic.twitter.com/ZdXNDJiTio
— CoachJay – Elite 400 National Recruiting Expert (@CoachJayUConn) April 6, 2021
Having watched former Mountaineers like Tavon Austin, Adam Jones and Geno Smith while growing up, Dixon said he loved what WVU coach Neal Brown and his staff have going on on offense — especially at the tight end position.
With the recency of the WVU offer, his third Division I Power Five offer, Dixon’s recruiting process has started to heat up. Only a rising junior, he still has two full seasons at Archbishop Wood to rack up yards on the fields and Division I offers. For him, this process is a lifelong dream. It’s been nothing but a blessing to have his childhood dream come true with coaches lining up to recruit him.
However, that dream extends beyond football — even though the end goal has football front and center. Dixon wants to make sure his academics are finished, achieving a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree before reaching his ultimate goal — the NFL.