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WACO, Texas - Only about 50 miles north of Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world, four-star safety Ahmad Dixon from Waco (Texas) Midway made the official announcement that he intends to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in front of a small collection of local media, his coaches and his family.
The Rivals100 member was somewhat surprised when he found out that he had been nominated for the game, and was very excited for the opportunity.
"My first reaction was crazy," said Dixon. "I was sitting at home playing Xbox with my older brother, and I got a call that I was nominated for this game and I didn't know whether to scream, cry, or just sit there. I was just sitting there shocked."
Dixon's father who is a Baptist preacher and his mother were both at church at the time, but the Baylor commit couldn't wait to tell them the news.
"My family was psyched," he said. "My parents were at church and I called my mom in the middle of church and told her that I got selected and she just screamed because she was so happy. My dad was really happy as well."
The long list of great players have played in this game in the past includes former Texas high school stars Vince Young, Tommy Harris and Adrian Peterson.
Dixon is a competitive person and is looking forward to the game, but more than anything he just wants to have fun and meet the top high school players from across the country.
"It's going to be a really good experience. I'm a really friendly guy and it'll be a great experience for me to meet some really, really good athletes," said Dixon. "I get to meet all these good athletes and be in the same category with the great players from the past, so I think it'll be a really great experience."
One of the main criteria to be selected for the game is not only that a player needs to be a great athlete, but the individual also has to display great character and values. Ahmad is a leader both on and off the field and has the respect of all his peers.
"This means a lot to our school," said Midway head coach Kent Bachtel. "Ahmad is All-State, he's been a starter for us for three years, and he's an amazing athlete and an amazing young man. We're thrilled, and I don't know what we'd do without him."
After attending a junior day in Austin, Dixon decided to commit to the Texas Longhorns. Less than three months later he decided to stay in Waco and changed his commitment to Art Briles' Baylor Bears.
"Baylor has a steal there because I think Ahmad has an opportunity to step in and start there right off the bat," said coach Bachtel.
Playing close to home and in front of his family is a big reason why Dixon chose Baylor over many other offers, and why he is happy to play just down interstate 35 in San Antonio.
"It's going to be great. I get to stay here and play in front of all these wonderful people that have supported me," said Dixon. "It's a wonderful feeling to be able to go out there and showcase the skills that god has blessed me with."