Morgantown, West Virginia – When a four start running back decides to transfer from a powerhouse program like Clemson to West Virginia University, the obvious question is why?
And Lyn-J Dixon, who committed to play for the West Virginia Mountaineers yesterday, isn’t simply a highly-touted high school prospect, he’s a proven commodity. Dixon entered the season ranked second in Clemson history in career yards per carry (6.6), rushing for 1,372 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground over the previous three years.
Dixon is an accomplished, certified bad ass who has shown what he’s capable of across three seasons in the toughest division and against the very best competition in college football.
When Dixon announced his commitment to play for the Mountaineers, it was quickly revealed that he was suspended earlier this season by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
“He just needs to grow up,” Swinney said. “It’s just that simple. He needs to be a team player. He’s a very good player, obviously. He’s very talented. But we just need him to stay out of the dog house. That’s about it.”
It turns out, there was friction in the Tigers’ locker room – in the running backs room in particular – because of playing time. Dixon understandably thought that he would be the featured back given his experience and previous accomplishments. When he was overlooked for younger backs, he was obviously frustrated. Although it’s unclear exactly how he reacted, it’s certainly understandable.
Dixon was suspended for the first half of the first game of the season against the Georgia Bulldogs. Dixon has not faced any other team discipline issues in the previous three seasons with Clemson.
It’s important to understand that Dixon is not some troubled, uncontrollable problem child. He’s a competitive athlete who wants to help his team to be successful on the field. And West Virginia is extremely fortunate to land a player of his caliber. He’s won a national championship and he brings incredible experience to a Mountaineers’ running attack that will likely lose Leddie Brown after this season.
Dixon, who has two years of eligibility remaining when he joins the Mountaineers next season, said all of the right things necessary to move forward in his social media post yesterday:
“Thank you, Coach Swinney, for accepting me and giving me an opportunity to be a part of your program here at Clemson University,” Dixon said via Instagram. “Thank you for all that you have instilled in me. I will never forget, and I appreciate you!
“Thank you, Coach Elliot, for all the knowledge and teaching that you gave to me and for taking a chance on me to be a part of your offense as a running back. I appreciate you!
“Thanks to all other Coaches, Athletic trainers, Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Clemson Athletics staff who have touched me, taught me, and assisted me. I appreciate all of you!
“To all my fellow teammates, keep grinding and doing what you all love. I will not forget the bond that we built as a family. I wish all of you the best in whatever you all do!
“These past 4-years have been life changing, from academics, athletic, and development. However, I have gained the knowledge, and I have developed the discipline to move forward and succeed.
“I made the decision to transfer to continue to move forward in my career and better my opportunities for my future. I have enjoyed my time with Clemson Tigers!
“However, I am thankful to announce that I will continue my college and athletic career at West Virginia University!”