Texas Tech football: Best JUCO tranfers in program history

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 31: Dakota Allen /
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(Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
(Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

No. 10: DE McKinner Dixon 2008

The No. 10 player on our countdown has a story similar to Dakota Allen.  And like Allen, he was one of the most physically gifted defensive players to suit up for Tech in the last two decades.

McKinner Dixon was one of the more frustrating players to come through Lubbock.  When he was on the field, the defensive end from Lufkin, TX was as dominant as any end we have seen at Tech.  Unfortunately, what happened (or more accurately, what didn’t happen) in the classroom proved to derail what should have been a stellar college career.

In 2005, Dixon earned a starting spot as a true freshman recording 29 tackles, two sacks, and six tackles for loss while garnering freshman All-American honors.  But because he was unable to maintain his eligibility in the classroom, he had to play for Cisco Junior College in 2007 after being away from the game in 2006.

But like Allen, Dixon got a second chance at Texas Tech.  Unfortunately, his story did not have the same storybook happy ending.

From the famous 2008 team, most people remember Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree but few remember that junior defensive end McKinner Dixon was second on the team with nine sacks.  That total was good enough to tie for the ninth-most in a single season by any player in program history.

Unfortunately, Dixon was suspended again before the 2009 season because of academics and having no other option, he entered the NFL supplemental draft but he was not selected.  In 2010, he was signed by the West Texas Roughnecks, a now-defunct arena football team in Midland.

In just two seasons as a Red Raider, Dixon compiled 11 career sacks.  That puts him only five away from the top-10 in school history despite playing in only 24 games.

He could have been one of the best defensive ends to ever play for the Red Raiders.  But as is so often the case with JUCO players, his story has a much more disappointing ending as his off-field shortcomings derailed what should have been a memorable career.

And because he played only one season at Tech as a JUCO signee, he is not as high on this list as he could have been.  Still, that one season was extremely impressive and it happened to coincide with the best season in the modern era of the program.