Isaiah Nixon, is a 6’4, 215-pound edge rusher from Lakewood High School, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Nixon is a 4-star prospect in the class of 2023 according to 247 Sports composite rankings. The 247 Sports composite rankings also rank him as the 26th ranked EDGE in the nation, the 38th ranked player in the state of Florida, and the 194th ranked player in the nation. Isaiah committed to the University of Florida on June 21st. That’s only four days after his official visit to Gainesville on the 17th of June. Nixon chose Florida over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Florida State. He also chose the Gators over UCF, where he was initially committed.
According to ourlads.com, the current roster of defensive ends at the University of Florida are Prince Umanmielen (JR), Tyreak Sapp (RS FR), Justus Boone (RS FR), and Andrew Savaiinaea (FR).
After a thorough evaluation of Isaiah’s film, the first thing that pops out to me is his size on the edge. He has great length and long arms for sure tackling. His speed burst off the line of scrimmage is very impressive and he’s twitchy coming off the edge in the angles he takes to create tackles for loss and sacks. Nixon’s closing speed to get to the quarterback, as well as receivers and running backs in the open field also stands out when you watch him. He has a great change of direction also, he can put his foot down and plant and explode in the opposite direction effectively. Nixon also has fluid hips.
Overall he has the potential to be a tackle-for-loss machine and a sack artist. A few of the things that Isaiah could work on are his technique being an edge rusher. He relies on the bull rush quite a bit right now, but this is because he’s head and shoulders above the competition he’s lining up against in high school. He needs to add more moves to his repertoire such as a spin move, push and pull technique, and a swim move. All of those moves should be fairly easy to add for him, given the wide range of wingspan he has at 6’4. I also believe adding 20 pounds of muscle to his frame wouldn’t hurt his game either.
I could see Nixon coming in as a freshman next year contributing to the Florida Gators in a significant role. I’m not completely sold on the idea of him becoming a starter on day one. The gators have quite a bit of depth at the edge position. I could see him playing as a stand-up outside linebacker as well as at the defensive end. He has the ability and skill to play both. So that could see his snaps on the field grow. I project Nixon to be a starter by year 2 or 3 playing in the gators’ 3-3-5 scheme. He could develop into a Will Anderson or Dallas Turner role for the Florida Gators in the years to come. It would take tremendous work, but I believe this kid has enough upside to achieve just that.