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Baylor S Ahmad Dixon leading prospect on overlooked defense


Baylor defensive back K.J. Morton dropping Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell for a loss of one yard on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line in what would end up a 41-12 rout in favor of Baylor might be one of the most important plays in the Bears' history. It might also be the one play star safety Ahmad Dixon would most like to forget because as Bell was snapping the ball, Dixon had his back turned, imploring the home crowd to get louder.

Other than that one lapse in concentration, it has been a sterling senior season for Dixon, the biggest name on an overlooked but highly productive BU defense.

Despite allowing just 4.22 yards per play, fourth-best in the FBS this season, they have been overshadowed by the fireworks of a BU offense that has scored 59 or more points in seven of nine games. Dixon is the only defender with any name recognition, a former four-star recruit that spurned Texas for BU, foreshadowing the in-state power shift that was to come.

Dixon has lived up to those expectations, posting 58 tackles, two tackles for loss, five pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick this season.

Dixon (6-foot, 205 pounds) is a devastating hitter -- just ask Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro -- and has solid coverage skills. Dixon actually started all 26 games as a sophomore and junior at nickelback, totaling three interceptions to go with 11 tackles for loss.

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Assuming Dixon runs anywhere close to the 4.39 40-yard dash BU says he does, he could easily see his stock climb as quickly as any defensive back prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.

But the immediate concern for Dixon will be trying to contain an improving Oklahoma State offense to move one step closer to BU's first-ever Big 12 championship. Quarterback Clint Chelf exploited gaping alleys in the back end of the Texas defense, rushing for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Dixon must show the discipline to account for Chelf, running back Desmond Roland and a competent spread passing game.

Assuming Dixon is actually facing the action, it shouldn't be an issue.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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