Canisius High School football players Joseph Dixon and David Medley announced verbal commitments to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., in a video they posted Monday on social media.
The video showed action highlights of their games last season and training workouts. Then, each appeared in Sacred Heart T-shirts and hats. Sacred Heart competes in the Northeast Conference on the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level in Division I.
Dixon, 5 feet, 10 inches and 175 pounds, is from Niagara Falls and was named to the All-Western New York first-team defense as a cornerback and the fifth-team offense as an all-purpose performer in Class AA by the state sportswriters association last fall. He ran for 877 yards and 17 touchdowns in 13 games for Canisius last fall. He also had 19 pass receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, he finished with 20 tackles, four passes defensed and a sack.
In addition, he was the All-Catholic wrestling champion at 170 pounds. According to the wrestling website Matburn, Dixon had a 10-3 match record with five wins by pin. One of his three losses was in the 170-pound state Catholic high school championship. He was the No. 2 seed at his weight.
Sacred Heart offers wrestling as a varsity sport, but Dixon is being recruited for football.
Medley, 5 feet, 10 inches and 175 pounds, played defensive back for Canisius last fall but also is listed on the roster at running back. He was credited with 23 solo tackles, 41 stops overall with four tackles for loss, one interceptions, one sack and one pass defensed.
Although Dixon and Medley announced their commitment together, Medley said their decisions were not made jointly.
"We are committing to Sacred Heart together," Medley said in a Twitter direct message, but added: "Going into college with a close friend/teammate eludes a lot of stress. However, the decision was made separate and at both of our best interests."
The current Sacred Heart football roster lists no other athletes from Western New York, although several are from other areas of the state.
Other Northeast Conference football members are: Bryant, Central Connecticut, Duquesne, Long Island University, Merrimack, Robert Morris, St. Francis (Pa.) and Wagner.
Last season Canisius finished 8-5 after losing its first three games. The Crusaders finished atop The Buffalo News' football poll for the fifth time in eight years and were No. 3 statewide after defeating Cardinal Hayes of the Bronx in the state Catholic high school championship playoff game. Canisius defeated St. Francis in the Monsignor Martin championship game.
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