Lyn-J Dixon using lack of playing time in title game as motivation
|Thursday, April 4, 2019, 10:37 AM- -|
CLEMSON – Despite carrying the ball for over 500 yards and five touchdowns and playing on a national championship team during his freshman campaign, Lyn-J Dixon isn’t finding it difficult to find motivation ahead of the 2019 season.
The freshman running back appeared in 13 games but failed to make an appearance in the national championship game against Alabama and just being on the sideline is providing Dixon with plenty of inspiration.
That motivation has kept Dixon focused through the grind of spring practice.
“Being on the sideline (at the national championship), seeing the atmosphere and seeing how intense it can be really motivated me to get back to that stage so I can be able to play and show what I can do on the big stage,” Dixon said after Wednesday’s spring practice. “I saw what success brings, so that was motivation to keep me pushing because I want to be successful and never want to fail. That's my motivation. I'm just working on my overall game to get better. Never settle for less so I'm going to keep working and grinding and getting better from last year.”
Despite already looking forward to what 2019 has to offer, Dixon said his freshman season was a success.
“It was about what I expected. Knowing there was a running back - C.J. Fuller, rest in peace to him and praise to his family - when he left, I expected that I would get some playing time, so I trained and got my mind mentally ready and prepared for it,” Dixon said.
In order for Dixon to show what he’s capable of in 2019, he knows there’s plenty of room for improvement, and it starts with the little things.
“Pretty much blocking. I'm still working on my technique and stuff like that,” he said. “Pretty much just stay off my tippy toes and stay lower to the ground. I have to start extending my arms because I have long arms and I have to use that to my advantage.”
Co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott has Dixon focusing on ball security and proper technique.
“He's been preaching to me to start running low and stop running so high and lowering my back when I run through the tackles,” he said. “I'm going to start working on that this summer to get better at that. It's got to be a muscle memory thing, and there has to be a willingness and a want to in order to do it.”
Elliott likes what he sees out of his young running back.
"He looks good. They've done a great job in the weight room. In terms of pounds, it really hasn't started to come on yet, but you see his body starting to fill out and he's running a lot more violently and powerfully,” Elliott said. “He's understanding the technique in pass protection. Now, I would say that he's more self-sufficient whereas in the past you could see those guys were always looking at the quarterback for what to do, but now he's able to read the signals and know what he's supposed to do. Now he's starting to understand how to identify defensive fronts so that he can get to his protection responsibilities at the second level.
"Overall, he's really progressing and he has to make sure he does a better job with ball security just because he's an electric guy, he likes the big play, and he likes to swing the ball, so I'm trying to get him to be a little more secure with the ball. He hasn't had an issue with putting the ball on the ground, but it's just a matter of time if he doesn't properly carry it."
While the Georgia native is focusing on personal growth and improvement, he isn’t the only one eyeing an opportunity to return to the big stage.
“It's been great. We've all been working hard, and the team has just been anxious to get back on the field to show people what we can do,” Dixon said.