Dogs, Rebs lose players

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mississippi State thought it had scored a coup when it signed two-sport athlete Rashun Dixon.

Instead, the younger brother of bruising Bulldogs running back Anthony Dixon has chosen to sign with the Oakland Athletics.

Dixon agreed to terms with the A’s over the weekend and will report to Oakland’s Arizona League team Wednesday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Dixon was drafted in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 6. Dixon wouldn’t tell The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson the size of his signing bonus, but said it was “close” to the $600,000 he requested.

“I’m just ready to play baseball now,” Dixon said. “Just got all of that out of the way, figured all of that out. I’m ready to play baseball.”

The catcher had a .511 batting average in 33 games this season for Terry High School with 14 home runs and 59 runs batted in.

Dixon also was a highly prized football recruit and Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom had hoped he would play safety or wide receiver this fall.

He was rated as the No. 18 safety prospect in the nation by and the No. 85 wide receiver by His senior season was marred by injuries, but he caught 52 passes for 971 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He also had four interceptions.

Croom last spoke with Dixon before the draft.

“I’m very happy for him,” Croom said. “It was something that he and I talked about that if they offered him a financial package that was satisfactory we knew he would probably go baseball. We wish him nothing but the best.”

• Also, Ole Miss is dangerously thin at quarterback after incoming recruit Chris Wilkes signed with the San Diego Padres.

The Padres took the Orlando, Fla., pitcher in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball draft.

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has Jevan Snead listed as the starter. But Snead has little experience after sitting out following his transfer from Texas and his backups have even less.

Billy Tapp will be the second-string quarterback and Nathan Stanley, a true freshman from Oklahoma who’s already on campus, could figure in Nutt’s plans.

The Rebels open the season Aug. 30 against Memphis in Oxford.