Central Catholic coach Terry Totten calls Nixon one of the best two-way players in the state. Nixon made the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 as a junior after catching 34 passes for 699 yards (20.6 yards per catch) and intercepting three passes on defense from his free safety position. He is one of the reasons Central Catholic is being pegged by many as the team to beat in Class AAAA of the WPIAL this season.
Nixon made a verbal commitment to the University of Maryland in July and was recruited by the Terrapins to play defensive back. Pitt was his other top choice, and the Panthers liked Nixon more as a receiver. Nixon, who lives in the Hill District, was recruited by Maryland assistant coach Greg Gattuso, a former Pitt assistant. Nixon is one of five Central Catholic players with Division I scholarship offers and one of two Vikings seniors to choose Maryland. The other is quarterback Perry Hills.
Maryland likes you as a defensive back. Do you have any problem with that? I like defense better, actually. So I'm happy with that.
You don't like the glory of catching passes and scoring touchdowns? That's cool, but defense wins championships, and I like being on the defensive side more.
Coach Totten calls you one of the best two-way players in Pennsylvania. Do you buy that? That's his opinion. I don't know because I don't know all the two-way players in Pennsylvania.
OK, many people are saying Central Catholic is the best Class AAAA team in the WPIAL and maybe the state. You buy that? No, unless you see every team and watch every game in the state. You can't go by rankings. I think we'll be OK, but you never know when a team can come out of nowhere. I've seen players get a lot better from one season to the next, too.
You don't do many media interviews and are tough to get on the phone. You don't like talking to the media? I think interviews are for, like, cocky people.
So you'd rather not talk to the media? Not really.
Well then why are you doing this interview? Because you're here at practice, and I didn't want to say no to your face [laugh].
Isn't that unusual for a high school kid not to like the media? I don't know why people like doing interviews. It just puts a target on your back. I guess you can try to shut out the media, but they'll come find you at practice.
Why Maryland? Pitt was No. 1, but I lived in Pittsburgh all my life. I wanted to get out of Pittsburgh and get to a new city. Maryland is close enough that I can get back and forth. It's only four hours away. I think they have a good program, a great head coach. It was the best place for me."
Best place to eat in Oakland? Uncle Sam's. Their cheesesteak hoagies are really good, and they give you free fries if you eat in.
Three words to describe your coach, Terry Totten? Loud, fun and ... smart.
Smart. Do you think many people have called him that? Yeah, he may be a little crazy, but when you sit down and really talk to him, he's smart.