Wisconsin safety D’Cota Dixon showed he was incredibly skilled on the football field, but his off-the-field presence has been just as impressive over the course of his collegiate career.
On Tuesday evening, Dixon claimed the 2018 Jason Witten Man of the Year Award.
The annual honor is given to to a Division I player who exudes “exceptional courage, integrity, and sportsmanship both on and off the field” in his “record of leadership.” Each year, three finalists are selected and a panel of former players, coaches, and media members vote and decide the recipient.
The two other finalists for the award included Alabama defensive lineman Derrick Brown and Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner.
The 2018 @JasonWitten Collegiate Man of the Year goes to.... @DcotaDixon1 pic.twitter.com/1bdi7aRxmU— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) February 13, 2019
The award was first given out at the collegiate level in 2018, where former UCF and current Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffen took home the award. A similar award is given out at the NFL level.
As noted in a Dec. 10 press release, Dixon was known for his volunteering off the field through his work with the Badgers Give Back program. On top of volunteering his time and his on-the-field duties, Dixon claimed Academic All-Big Ten selections the last two years while also claiming a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honor last season.
Just a couple guys celebrating the best of what it means to be Badger... pic.twitter.com/Nc5viVFPwd— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) February 13, 2019
On the field, Dixon debuted in 2014 but saw playing time increase time in 2015 as he appeared in eight games. In a starting capacity during the 2016 season, Dixon recorded 60 tackles to pair with four interceptions—including the game-clinching pick late in the fourth quarter against LSU in a season-opening win.
Dixon then followed that performance with a 58-tackle season in 2017. This past season, he battled injuries as a redshirt senior, but his presence was still very much felt. He was the heart and leader of a young Wisconsin secondary that made strides throughout the season and played their best football late in the year.
As a reward for his efforts, Dixon not only takes home the award, but according to the award’s website, a $10,000 donation will be made “in his name to his school’s athletic scholarship fund” from Witten’s SCORE Foundation.
"Love can really have the power to transform and shape us as people"— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) February 13, 2019
Hear @DcotaDixon1's acceptance speech after being named the 2018 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year#OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/aPXj4NmY0u