ORLANDO, Fla. — Tre Nixon has changed his timeline for a commitment throughout the fall, and could be on the verge of doing so once more.
The 4-star wide receiver from Viera (Fla.) originally wanted to choose a school by September, then pushed it back to the end of October. He delayed his decision again as November neared and eyed the NCAA dead period, which begins Monday, as his new target date.
With that deadline just days away, Nixon is still wrestling with his recruitment and might extend it into January.
“It’s just been such a stressful process,” Nixon said Friday. “It’s actually been going on since my sophomore year, so I’m ready for it to end. It’s just a fluid situation for me.
“I have no idea when I’m going to decide now. If I get real comfortable with a school once recruiting stops, I may commit (in December). But most likely it will come down to two schools and I’ll visit them in January.”
Florida, UGA, Penn State and Texas A&M are the finalists for Nixon, the 2015 Florida Class 7A Player of the Year. He’s been to each school at least twice but hasn’t taken any official visits.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder listed what he likes about them.
- Florida: “It’s a really good program, and what they did this year with their playmakers was huge. They had a great season.”
- Georgia: “The coaches at Georgia were great. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the coaches now, but I loved everyone on the previous staff.”
- Penn State: “I like their coaches as well. It’s a great place, and I’ll bring a different dimension to their offense.”
- Texas A&M: “Coach (Aaron) Moorehead, Coach (Kevin) Sumlin and Coach (Jake) Spavital are all great guys. I’m comfortable with them.”
Nixon said comfort with coaches, offensive scheme and early playing time are his determining factors. From the way he spoke about former UGA head coach Mark Richt and assistant Bryan McClendon (interim coach for the bowl game), it sounds as if the Bulldogs would have landed him during the dead period had it not been for Richt’s firing.
Nixon spoke to new UGA coach Kirby Smart on the phone and received a visit Friday from running backs coach Thomas Brown.
“It was big for them,” Nixon said of the Smart hire. “That’s home for him. He’s definitely defensive minded and he’ll bring a lot to their defense. He just needs an offensive coordinator to get the offense going.
“Coach Brown told me that right now he’s the only (assistant) that’s staying for sure. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
On Saturday, UGA officially hired Pittsburgh’s Jim Chaney as its offensive coordinator.
Nixon has talked to Richt since he took over at Miami, but said he doesn’t anticipate the Hurricanes to become a factor. Florida and Penn State are currently considered the favorites for Nixon while UGA fills out its staff under Smart.
Penn State coach James Franklin had an in-home visit with Nixon this past week, and UF assistant Kerry Dixon II stopped by his school and then met with his mother.
The Gators weren’t in the mix for Nixon coming out of the summer, but they’ve turned up the heat on him in recent months and are now within striking distance.
“I loved Florida my freshman and sophomore year,” Nixon said. “It kind of slowed down after that, but it definitely picked back up when the new staff came in. I always had interest in Florida and still do.
“The next step would be for me to visit them again with my mom so she can meet coach McElwain and the rest of the staff. We’re going to take about everything during the dead period and then decide what we’ll do moving forward.”