Ohio running back Beau Blankenship and wide receiver Chase Cochran speak with the media following Tuesday's practice. Position coaches Jesse Williams (DL) and Dwayne Dixon (WR) spoke with the media as well.
Ohio University wide receiver coach named one of the Top 25 players in AFL History
Dwayne Dixon joined the Bobcats in June 2007. Dixon, a 17-year coaching veteran, came to Athens after two seasons as the wide receivers coach at NC State.
Since arriving in Athens, Dixon has coached two wide receivers that have been selected in the NFL Draft over the last four years in Taylor Price (2010) and LaVon Brazill (2012). Price was selected in the third round by the New England Patriots, while Brazill was picked in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2012, Ohio's wide receivers hauled in 62 receptions for 2,397 yards and 17 touchdowns. In addition, Bobcat wideouts helped Ohio post the fourth-best scoring offense in the conference as it averaged 31.7 points per game. Ohio's offensive unit also averaged 444.8 yards per game - a total which also ranked fourth in the league.
Ohio's receivers had a significant impact in the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl as they combined for 325 yards and two touchdowns. The Independence Bowl also saw wide receivers Chase Cochran and Tyler Futrell post single game career-best as they finished with 162 and 133 yards, respectively. Cochran's 162-yard effort was the 10th-best single game receiving total in school history.
Under Dixon's direction in 2012, wide receiver Donte' Foster finished the year with single season career highs of 659 yards and eight touchdowns. Foster's biggest game of the year came at home against Eastern Michigan as he registered seven catches for 164 yards, which tied former Bobcat Todd Snyder for the eight-best single game total of all-time.
During the 2011 campaign, Dixon played an integral role in the Bobcats' record-setting offensive output as the Bobcats set eight offensive records, including scoring 427 points and gaining over 6,000 yards.
Five receivers hauled in 20-or-more passes and set the school record for most yards by the receiving corps, totaling 3,482. Bobcat receivers also hauled in a program-best 276 receptions and 30 touchdowns.
Brazill finished the year with a single-season record 74 receptions for 1,146 yards. Brazill finished the year with a single season career record of 11 touchdowns as he went on earn to All-Mid-American Conference Second Team honors. Brazill's fi nal game as a Bobcat in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was arguably his most memorable as he caught eight passes for 108 yards, earning MVP honors. Brazill went on to fi nish his career with 189 catches for 2,511 yards - both of which schools. His 18 touchdowns rank second in school history.
In 2010, senior wide receiver Terrance McCrae was a third-team All-MAC selection and became Ohio's all-time leader in career touchdown receptions, finishing with 19 to his credit.
McCrae, along with Steven Goulet, signed professional contracts with NFL teams. McCrae also hauled in nine touchdown receptions and led the team with 35 catches for 505 yards. Tight end Jordan Thompson was named to the All-MAC Second Team after snagging 21 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.
Dixon's receiving corps was among the most dangerous in the league in 2009. Price set the school record with 149 career catches, which stood until 2011, while McCrae tied Andrew Mooney's single-season touchdown reception mark with nine - a mark that stood until 2011.
Dixon's receivers had another breakout season in 2008. In addition to hauling in 228 catches, the third-highest total in school history, the group also amassed a program-record 2,795 yards - a mark that stood until the 2011 season.
In his first season as wide receivers coach, Dixon saw his receiving corps haul in passes totaling over 1,200 yards, averaging nearly 14 yards per reception.
Dixon spent his fist 15 seasons at his alma mater, the University of Florida. He held a number of titles in his tenure with the Gators, including assistant head coach from 1995-99 and 2003-04.
Dixon spent all 15 seasons working with the wide receivers and also mentored Florida's kickoff unit and punt returners in 2000. He was the Gators' assistant passing game coordinator that same season. Dixon moved then to North Carolina State, where he coached the Wolfpack receiving corps in 2005 and 2006.
Dixon brings a wealth of experience coaching at the highest levels of college football. A finalist for the 2001 Broyles Award given to the nation's top assistant coach, Dixon has coached in 15 bowl games and helped guide Florida to six SEC titles and two national championship games, including a victory in the 1996 Sugar Bowl.
From 1994-2002, Dixon coached a national-best nine semifinalists and four finalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the country's top receiver. The Gators had at least one wide receiver selected in the NFL Draft every year during that same span. In 1997, Reidel Anthony and Ike Hilliard were both first-round selections, marking the first time since the 1967 AFL-NFL merger that two receivers from the same school were both taken in the first round.
In all, he coached 22 players that signed NFL contracts, 11-All-Americans and 10 first-team All-SEC players at Florida. The Gators ranked among the country's top 10 passing offenses in 10 of his 15 seasons. Dixon's receiving unit recorded 445 touchdown catches from 1990-2002, 87 more than any other school in the nation during that span.
Dixon's coaching career began after he completed a standout collegiate and professional playing career as a receiver. A four-year letterwinner for the Gators from 1980-83, Dixon finished his career with 124 catches. He was a first-team All-SEC and honorable mention All-America performer as a senior. Dixon helped the Gators to four bowl appearances during his career and was named the MVP of the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl. He was inducted into the Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Dixon began his pro career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played from 1984-85 and again in 1987. He played for the Arena Football League's Washington Commandos in 1987 and the Detroit Drive from 1988-91. He led the AFL in scoring and receiving in both the 1987 and 1988 seasons. Dixon, a receiver and linebacker, was the AFL's Ironman of the Year in 1988 and was named the 1988 Arena Bowl's Ironman of the Game. The Sports Network named him one of the Arena Football League's top 10 players of all time. In the spring of 2012, Dixon was selected as one of the AFL's top 25 all-time players.
Dixon earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida in 1985. He and his wife, Sandra, have two children, Brittany and Ian, who is a current player.