June 6, 2012

Rising to the Top

Varshaun Nixon's recruiting didn't start in early 2012. It actually started in 2010 when he was a freshman.

The Lake Travis running back, who is now up to five offers including one from Baylor, received that from his former coach Chad Morris, now the offensive coordinator at Clemson.

"It really shocked me,'' Nixon said. "I thought I was going to have to work to get this but somebody thought a lot of me. I see a lot of talent year after year get offers and kind of relax and not work hard. That's not me. I want to work hard to see if a school like LSU or Alabama is going to offer. I'm staying hungry.''

Nixon is a cog in the Lake Travis machine that left Class 4A with five consecutive state championships. Now as a Class 5A school, the Cavaliers are going to have to try and win the sixth at the highest level.

In this complex but still running back-friendly offense, Nixon demonstrated elusiveness, strength but not everything in his repertoire because he was splitting time. Nixon rushed for 1,272 yards and averaged 8.7 yards per rush. He also averaged nearly 15 yards per reception.

The possibilities for 2012 are intriguing enough to where Baylor would like to get him on campus for an unofficial visit. Currently, Nixon plan on going to SMU's camp Wednesday in Austin, Friday at TCU and Sunday at Texas. He has been talking with Baylor assistant Randy Clements.

"I was at Baylor a couple of years ago but really didn't get a chance to see it,'' Nixon said. "My mom is into this recruiting thing so if we get a chance to come up there, we will.''

Nixon is using the current 7-on-7 season to work on his pass catching skills. He wants to focus on the 5-yard outs and then turn the ball upfield with a burst. Lake Travis' offense really does an outstanding job of preparing its skill offensive players for the collegiate level.

And while the focus of Baylor's recent success has been on Heisman Trophy Robert Griffin III and a plethora of dynamic receivers, Nixon has done his research on the offense and knows it's not unbalanced.

"Their running backs produce 1,000-yard seasons and go to the NFL,'' said Nixon of Terrance Ganaway who went to the New York Jets in the sixth round of the draft. "To get through a season and finish with 1,000 yards is special.
"Everything I do starts in practice. You have to run the ball and get out and run your routes and get the best out of my abilities every day.''



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