Duck QB set to fly south for summer.Byline: Rob Moseley The Register-Guard
What a week for Dennis Dixon Dennis Lee Dixon Jr. (born January 11, 1985 in Oakland, California), is the starting Quarterback for The University of Oregon and is in his Senior season. Dixon was also drafted by the Atlanta Braves on June 7th, 2007 as an outfielder and spent the football offseason in the Braves .
On Wednesday, six days after being picked by the Atlanta Braves The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From to the present, the Braves have played in Turner Field. in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft The First-Year Player Draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players, from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs, to its teams. , the UO senior quarterback signed a professional baseball contract. Today, he graduates from the university with a degree in sociology and a minor in journalism.
And Monday, Dixon is off to Florida, to work out with the Braves' affiliate there in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League The Gulf Coast League is a minor league baseball league which operates in Florida. It is a Rookie League, with a season running from mid-June to late August. The season is 60 games long and teams in the league are divided into three divisions, East, North and .
"I've got my degree. Now I'm at the level where I need a job," Dixon said. "I see this as a job I want to pursue."
Dixon declined to elaborate on the terms of his contract. Fifth-round picks are slotted to receive about $150,000 in bonus money by the major leagues.
The plan is for Dixon, a right fielder right fielder
The player who defends right field.
Noun 1. right fielder - the person who plays right field
outfielder - (baseball) a person who plays in the outfield , to spend about two weeks in Florida, then join the Danville Braves The Danville Braves are a minor league baseball team in Danville, Virginia, USA. They are an Advanced Rookie-level team in the Appalachian League and have been a farm team of the Atlanta Braves since 1993. The Braves play home games at American Legion Post 325 Field. of the rookie-level Appalachian League The Appalachian League is a Rookie-class minor league that began play in 1937 with one year of inactivity in 1956. From 1937 to 1962, it was Class D League. Teams are located in the Appalachian Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee region. for the remainder of the summer, he said.
And then, Dixon assured, he'll be back in Eugene for fall camp with the football team, as the first-string quarterback entering his senior season of eligibility. There is "no chance at all" that he won't be back, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
"I'm going to be here for sure," he said.
What he will miss, in the interim, will be invaluable summer workouts with his teammates that have essentially become "voluntary" in name only because of their importance in the development of players and teams. With a new system in place under first-year offensive coordinator An offensive coordinator typically refers to the coach on a football team in the National Football League or College football who is in charge of the offense. This position aids the head coach by designing and scripting plays, delegating work to offensive position coaches during and quarterbacks coach Chip Kelly, the Ducks would surely benefit from having Dixon around to throw in seven-on-seven drills with his backs and receivers.
Dixon will have a playbook, game film and a football with him for the summer, and pledged to endure a workout plan designed by UO strength and conditioning guru Jim Radcliffe. But it won't be the same as living, socializing and practicing with his teammates every day, he acknowledged.
"Yeah, I'm worried about it," Dixon said. "It's always a thought in your mind," that if he struggles in the fall, his participation in baseball might be blamed.
"I don't want that to happen, so I'm going to bust my butt, do whatever I can in both sports just to be better."
Dixon said his football teammates have been supportive of his decision to try baseball, and he plans to maintain regular contact with them over the summer. UO head coach Mike Bellotti Robert Michael Bellotti (b. December 21, 1950 in Sacramento, California) has been the head coach of the University of Oregon football team since 1995. His accomplishments at Oregon include an 11-1 season and #2 national ranking in 2001. Education
M.S. and coordinator Kelly have been supportive as well, though they've cautioned him not to jeopardize his eligibility in any way.
Dixon is no longer eligible to receive an athletic scholarship An athletic scholarship is a form of scholarship to attend a college or university awarded to an individual based predominantly on their ability to play in a sport. They are common in the United States, but in many countries they are rare or non-existent. . He can sign with a baseball agent, but that agent can't have any dealings on behalf of Dixon for football. Were Dixon to be approached with endorsement opportunities, he would have to turn them down if he hopes to play football this fall.
Since the draft, Dixon has been "hanging out with family," he said, and also working at a football camp in Dallas, Texas, with his high school coach. On Wednesday he officially joined the Braves, a team that worked him out in January.
After being drafted out of high school in 2003, and choosing instead to play football, Dixon let his participation in the sport lapse, beyond summer slow-pitch softball, he said. But this winter, after Oregon lost in the Las Vegas Bowl The Las Vegas Bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually at 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1992. to complete a 7-6 season, Dixon begin hitting baseballs in batting cages, and taking soft tosses from friends.
The Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox The Chicago White Sox are a professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the White Sox have played in U.S. and Florida Marlins also contacted him before the draft, Dixon said. But he wasn't surprised that the Braves ultimately snatched him.
"That was the very first one that looked at me," he said. "I think they had an edge on me."
Based on his football skills, Dixon clearly has the speed to cover a lot of territory in the outfield, and a strong throwing arm. As a hitter, he said, "I was pretty much a base-hit sort of guy."
The Braves "want me to play football," Dixon said, and indeed the franchise tried to impart on him its tradition of drafting multi-sport athletes. As an example, they cited current right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who turned down a football scholarship offer from Clemson to sign with Atlanta.
If all goes well in the next seven months, Dixon might be preparing for another draft next April. That would be the NFL draft, another potential job Dixon might want to pursue if the chance arises.
If it does, Dixon's attempts to balance baseball and football next February and March would make the drama of the last week seem relatively tame.
"That's a good question; I haven't really got up to that point yet," Dixon said. "I'm just taking it stride by stride right now."
For now, those strides will be on the outfield turf of a Florida baseball diamond, far away from the grass practice fields of the Oregon football team.