MOORHEAD — Moorhead Spuds cornerback Jamal Dixon attended football camp and the University of North Dakota this past weekend, and his experience there led the action.
A high school senior-to-be, Dixon verbally committed to the Fighting Hawks on Saturday, July 17, joining a growing number of Spuds on the UND roster. He announced his decision Saturday night via Twitter.
“I just felt like I was really wanted there after my visit this weekend,” Dixon said. “It felt like home. I got to hang out with the players. I just had a blast there.”
Dixon joins teammate Jack Teiken, a defensive lineman, in UND’s 2022 recruiting class. Teiken committed to the Fighting Hawks in June. Former Spuds quarterback Trey Feeney and wide receivers Blake and Brady Walthall are joining the UND program for next fall. Former Spuds running back Otis Weah and kicker Brady Leach are already on the UND roster. Weah is Dixon’s older brother.
Dixon said that proliferation of Spuds didn’t play a huge role in his decision.
“In the end it’s kind of cool I get to play with some of my (high school) teammates and my brother,” Dixon said.
Weah was excited when Dixon made his decision to join him with the Fighting Hawks.
“He was jumping up and down,” Dixon said. “He gave me a hug. It was heartwarming.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Dixon is projected to play cornerback for the Fighting Hawks. He started at that position for the Spuds during his junior season last fall.
“That’s another thing that really influenced my commitment because other schools wanted to move me to safety or linebacker, which I’d be fine with, but I really enjoy playing corner,” Dixon said.
Dixon said a piece of advice he received from Spuds head coach Kevin Feeney helped him during the recruiting process.
“One thing coach Feeney told me is when you know, you know,” Dixon said. “I knew that day I wanted to commit.”
Dixon is expected to start at cornerback and also play running back for the Spuds during his senior season.
"Ultimately, every young man has got to go where he sees himself in the best fit and Jamal really stayed true to that," Kevin Feeney said. "I don't think he ever went into this thinking it was UND and only UND. I think he genuinely had interest in other schools. I strongly encouraged him to see those different schools so he could figure out where he fit in best."
Dixon also had Division I FCS offers from North Dakota State and Northern Iowa. He is the ninth NCAA D-I recruit from the Spuds football program since 2017. Dixon had a busy summer, attending camps at the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State, NDSU and UND.
"He's got a high ceiling," Kevin Feeney said. "He's just starting to come into his own as far as physically maturing. You look at how Otis had physically developed throughout his college years, I wouldn't be shocked to see Jamal flourish at the next level."
The Spuds posted a 7-0 record last fall during a COVID-shortened season. Moorhead earned a “mythical” Minnesota Class 5A state championship as it was voted No. 1 in multiple polls, including the final Associated Press poll. The Spuds had six Division I signees or commitments starting on the team, including Dixon.
Dixon said deciding on his college destination is both a relief and motivation.
“It motivates me even more to do better,” Dixon said. “The better I am going into UND, the sooner I can play. The work is far from over.”