When played well, the fans in the stands do not notice. When played poorly, every fan will know your name and the end result in a game is completely your fault.
That’s the life of a safety in football. You’re the last resort in stopping the opposing offense. You’re the x-factor in a game against a higher-ranked rival team. And last year with Leo Musso and D’Cota Dixon holding down the position, the Badgers had a reliable pair of sure-handed and dependable tacklers wrecking havoc for opposing offenses.
Last year Musso lead the way, surprising many who did not even know who he was heading into the season. Stuffing the stat box with five interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown (that some may remember involved a spin move), 5.0 tackles for loss and 74 total tackles, Musso was a game changer.
Musso is now gone, however, having graduated from Wisconsin, but Dixon is still here and ready to improve on what was a great year in 2016.
In 2016, Dixon burst onto the scene with four interceptions and four pass break-ups. But looking just at passing stats won’t do him justice. Being a dynamic player, he also added 1.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss in route to his total 60 tackles.
More than just stats though, Dixon has earned a reputation for making game-changing plays. He, twice, single-handedly changed the game in favor of the Badgers. This quality makes him the best safety on the Wisconsin Badgers.
No Badger fan will ever forget his game ending interception that ended LSU’s season before it even got started and basically started a small earthquake at Lambeau Field. Then on Halloween weekend, with Nebraska fighting for a shot to get into the Big Ten Championship game, Dixon once again played the role of spoiler, breaking up a would-be touchdown pass in overtime and putting the Cornhuskers to bed.
Lining up next to Dixon this season will be Natrell Jamerson. The senior, after an injury-filled 2016, will be looking to burst onto the scene just as Musso and Dixon did last season.
In just his eight games played last year, coming off of the bench, Jamerson played well. He totaled one tackle for loss and had four pass break-ups. His speed projected him as a cornerback and return specialist, but with more depth at the cornerback position, the Badgers coaching staff moved Jamerson to safety where his speed will show even more so. A versatile athlete who entered Wisconsin as a wide receiver, Jamerson’s impressive offseason workouts could be a harbinger of things to come.
All in all, there isn’t much depth at the safety position. Lubern Figaro and Joe Ferguson will be the back ups, but neither have much in the way of experience.
Dixon though, the leader of the defensive backfield, will be making people remember his name. Not because he left a opposing wideout flying down field for an open touchdown, but because he will be wrecking havoc all over the field. They’ll remember his name because Dixon will be winning games for the Badgers.