One of the first things head coach Charlie Strong noticed about his roster after taking over was the utter lack of depth at the linebacker position. In an effort to bolster the position, he moved redshirt sophomore safety Malik Dixon to linebacker and had him bulk up over the winter Unfortunately, Dixon has decided to transfer from the program.
Dixon got his weight up to 219 to make the transition to linebacker, and he actually looked really good at the position during spring practice. He did not participate in the last week of practice, nor did he play in the spring game due to “personal reasons” (I’m assuming this was the personal reason).
Dixon was listed as the backup safety to Jaymon Thomas and racked up six tackles, a forced fumble and one sack during the season-opening victory over Towson. He was headed toward a very prominent role on defense, but a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery cut his season short just after one game.
Malik’s departure makes the hole at linebacker even bigger. With team captain Auggie Sanchez still working his way back from labrum surgery and former Bull Cecil Cherry transferred out already, the linebackers are extremely green beyond the spot duty Nico Sawtelle and Danny Thomas had during the 2016 season.
"We do not," a USF spokesman said when asked for comment about Malik Dixon transferring from the program. They typically don't comment.— Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) April 19, 2017
Best of luck, Malik. You will certainly be missed.