Drawing the interest of Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide is a pretty good sign for a college football prospect.
That’s what defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon did in his lone year dominating at Iowa Western. But the three-star recruit stuck with the Hawkeyes, the school he committed to out of high school, however he could not play immediately because of his grades.
Nixon took a redshirt year at Iowa in 2018. The Kenosha, Wisconsin, native was a key rotational player on the Hawkeye defensive line in 2019. Heading into his junior season, Nixon is set for a breakout year.
Iowa lost both of its starting defensive tackles from last season after Cedrick Lattimore and Brady Reiff graduated. Nixon, senior Austin Schulte, and graduate transfer Jack Heflin are expected to take the majority of snaps on the interior of Iowa’s defensive line in 2020.
Despite being 6 feet, 3 inches and 305 pounds, Nixon is very explosive off the line of scrimmage. He’s capable of using a quick burst to blow by an opposing offensive lineman, or use his strength to set up a good bull rush.
Nixon appeared in all of Iowa’s 13 games last season and compiled three sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. In Iowa’s shutout victory over Northwestern, Nixon dominated and tallied two sacks.
Defensive tackle should be a position of strength for the Hawkeyes in 2020, even with the key losses from last season, and especially with the addition of Heflin — Northern Illinois’ defensive player of the year in 2019. But a breakout season from Nixon will be the highlight from this positional group throughout the upcoming season.
Nixon is a potential star, and with an increased workload this season, he could remove “potential” from that description.