Mobile Christian (Alabama) star Sterling Dixon, the nation's No. 6 linebacker in the class of 2024, publicly committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide over Auburn and LSU on Thursday afternoon:
But the truth is the 6-foot-3, 211-pound 'backer has been locked in to future in Tuscaloosa for much longer than that.
"I committed to Alabama when they played Mississippi State [on October 22]," he said. "I knew where I was going."
One of the biggest factors was being recruited by Alabama coach Nick Saban, who has helped produce multiple NFL first-round draft picks over the years.
"It definitely means a lot," Dixon said. "I'm really thankful that they believe in me. I thank the coaching staff, and God for giving me the ability. It's crazy to think, 'Nick Saban wants me. He thinks I can do big things.' It's crazy."
Over the weekend, the in-state product took yet another visit to campus and experienced a new layer to his recruitment.
It added a sense of comfort about his upcoming announcement.
"Honestly, I went in expecting it to be a normal thing," Dixon said. "I usually go down to Alabama and we have a good time. It's always fun and always feels like a place I want to go to. I didn't expect what it was going to be at all. The Iron Bowl kind of helped me envision myself there even more... getting there early and bonding with the players and coaches and some of the commits."
"It was crazy. The atmosphere was crazy, the fans were crazy, the atmosphere was hype and the fans were amazing."
Dixon admitted that Auburn coach Hugh Freeze called him Wednesday evening to request he push back his commitment.
But the Mobile Christian star was locked in with the Tide.
As a junior, he racked up more than 150 total tackles, 39 tackles-for-loss and 18 sacks.
That young nucleus has been bolstered significantly this week with the addition of Dixon, who is planning on cutting his senior year short, graduating early and arriving at Alabama next January.
Junior season highlights