|5 Justin Dixon|
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A strong, athletic and physically-imposing defensive standout who has the capability to make a significant impact on the Pirates' front seven, but has been limited to playing just 13 career games (one start) over the last three seasons due to injuries ... Hopes to bounce from a back from limited roles in both 2011 and 2012, and an injury-shortened, but productive campaign in 2010 ... Did not participate in spring drills while rehabilitating a right knee injury suffered early during the 2012 campaign, but could be cleared prior to preseason camp ... If full return is realized, will compete as a two-deep member at the field end position ... Stands as one of the strongest members of the program, with a top-ranked bench press of 490 pounds ... Also recorded lifts of 750 (back squat), 363 (power clean) and 385 (push jerk), and owns jumps of 32.5" (vertical) and 112" (broad) ... Enrolled at ECU in the fall of 2009, but was not on the roster and did not participate during spring practice period because of eligibility requirements ... Originally signed a national letter-of-intent with North Carolina Feb. 4, 2009 but never enrolled in classes at Chapel Hill.
2012: Appeared in just two games before suffering right knee injury at South Carolina (Sept. 8) ... Opened season at defensive end against Appalachian State, recording a pair of tackles on running plays ... Followed with another two-tackle performance against Gamecocks before leaving the game with the a season-ending injury ... Earned preseason All-Conference USA honors by CollegeSportsMadness.com (third-team).
2011: Returned to full strength following 2010 injury and experienced action in seven games ... Made year's lone start, and first of career, against UAB ... Did not play versus North Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy or Marshall due to coaches' decisions ... Wrapped up the campaign with nine hits (one solo), 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for lost yardage ... Five of year's nine stops were on running plays ... Tallied a pair of special teams' tackles, both on kickoff returns ... Also recorded a pass breakup, in the season opener against South Carolina ... Credited with an assist on the opening kickoff of the UCF contest, bringing down Rannell Hall following a 27-yard return ... Lone tackle at UTEP was first solo hit and sack of the year, an 11-yard drop of Carson Meger in the second quarter ... Credited with an assist on Tulane's final kickoff return of the contest, a 23-yard runback by Robert Kelley ... Booked season's first sack against UAB, combining with Chris Baker to drop Jonathan Perry for a one-yard loss in the fourth quarter ... Stopped Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas after an eight-yard rush in the opening frame ... Tallied a season-best three tackles against South Carolina, booking two and a pass breakup in the first half ... 36.8 percent of career tackles are hits for lost yardage ... Missed spring drills because of a season-ending injury a year earlier.
2010: An impact player on the defensive line whose season was limited to first four games of the year due to left knee injury ... Booked 10 tackles (five solo) before leaving the North Carolina contest on Oct. 2 due to aforementioned injury ... Started fall camp as a linebacker but made the transition forward to defensive end ... Prior to injury, was tied for team lead with two quarterback hurries and topped squad with 5.5 tackles for lost yardage (-39 yards) and 3.0 sacks (-27 yards) ... Stood seventh in Conference USA, and 42nd at the FBS level, in sacks and eighth in tackles for loss before being shelved for the season ... Lone Pirate who booked at least one TFL in the first four games of the season ... During ECU debut versus Tulsa, tallied season-best five stops with two tackles for lost yardage (-14 yards) and one sack (nine yards) ... During a span of five Golden Hurricane plays from the end of the first quarter to the start of the second, collected a sack, a solo tackle and an assist ... Lone hit at Virginia Tech was a five-yard sack of Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter ... In final game of the year, sacked T.J. Yates for a 13-yard loss in the second quarter ... Knocked ball away from Memphis quarterback Ryan Williams for first career forced fumble ... Also against the Tigers, contributed 1.5 TFL (seven yards) and three tackles ... Five-of-10 stops came on rushing plays.
2009: Sat out true freshman season in compliance with NCAA eligibility standards.
High School: SuperPrep All-America choice for coach Anthony Barbour at Smithfield-Selma High School ... Rated as the No. 6 player in North Carolina by Rivals.com and the No. 9 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep ... Also considered one of the top 25 players in North Carolina by The Charlotte Observer ... Member of the Rivals 250 and was ranked as the No. 9 inside linebacker nationally Rivals.com ... Member of PrepStar's High School All-America Team and recruiting analyst Tom Lemming's All-America team ... Earned a national No. 46 billing (linebacker) by ESPN.com ... In addition to starring role as a linebacker, also experienced action as a running back, defensive end and defensive tackle during prep career ... Rushed for 767 yards and nine touchdowns on 160 carries as a senior, helping Smithfield-Selma advance to the first round of the state playoffs ... Defensively, was credited with 160 tackles and one interception as a junior ... Also added 1,589 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in 2007 as a junior.
Personal: Full name is Earnest Justin Dixon ... Born November 19, 1989 ... Son of Sheila and Ernest Dixon ... A communications major who earned ECU Honor Roll inclusion for his work in the classroom during the 2012 fall semester.