RECRUITING UPDATE: Travis Dickson
One Dickson out, another one in on campus in Baton Rouge
By RICHARD MEEK
Tiger Rag Recruiting Contributor
Travis Dickson first met Les Miles as a seventh grader when the Tigers coach was courting Dickson’s older brother, Richard.
Little did Travis Dickson realize Miles would be in the same living room five years later, making a pitch for the Ocean Springs, Ms., tight end to follow in his brother’s footsteps to Baton Rouge.
After being recruited by several schools and giving some serious, albeit brief, consideration to Auburn, Dickson pulled the lever for the Tigers in August.
“It was not so much about (Richard),” said Dickson, 6 foot 3, 235 pounds. “I’ve known (Miles) for five years, and have been talking to him since the seventh grade. I know the system and understand it really well.
“I feel comfortable in Baton Rouge and know my way around. Plus, it’s close to home and my family can come watch me play.”
Dickson, who has been timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, said he’s attracted to Miles’ offensive system because it allows the tight end to play a critical role and have the opportunity to make big plays. Dickson counts one touchdown pass among his six catches this past season after making the switch from fullback.
He also had 139 tackles as a defensive end.
“I believe I bring a lot of versatility,” said Dickson, who is a designed hitter for the Greyhounds and may toy with the idea of playing baseball at LSU. “I’ll catch whatever comes my way and always go after the ball.”
After spending his high school career as a fullback and tight end, Dickson believed his blocking skills were deficient. But participating in the recent Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla., changed his perspective.
“I didn’t get a lot of practice time blocking in high school,” he said. “But (after a week in Orland) I realized I’m not as far behind as I thought I was.”
“I think I have a shot of coming in and playing,” he added. “I’m at the end of taking two weeks off and then will starting working out three to four times a week. I’m not planning on being red-shirted.”
Ocean Springs coach Todd Mangum said he believes Dickson can make an immediate impact.
“He has outstanding hands and is a very aggressive blocker,” Mangum said. “He’s an outstanding leader on and off of the field and going to do everything that’s asked of him.”
Dickson, who is often referred to by the nickname “J.T.”, said the criticism launched at the LSU program late in the season only reinforced his commitment to the Tigers.
“When you go 9-4 and everybody says it’s bad season, that shows you the kind of expectations you have,” he said. “(9-4) in the SEC is a great season. Other teams wish they could have that kind of season.”
For the Tigers, however, it was a season that fell short of expectations. Dickson is hoping to change that beginning in the fall.