Johnnie Dixon doesn’t want to jump to conclusions.
Although it seems likely the Calgary Stampeders defensive back will make his professional debut in Monday’s rematch with the Montreal Alouettes, Dixon won’t deliver the news to his biggest fans until he’s absolutely sure of it.
“My family, they’ve been waiting,” Dixon said. “Whenever I get that chance, I want to prove myself and give them some entertainment to watch at home.
But I really don’t want to jinx it. I’ll just take it a day at a time.”
With rookie Brandon Isaac nursing a sore shoulder and doubtful to be in the lineup this week, Dixon should be seeing action with the starting defensive unit.
The 21-year-old from little-know Pearl River Community College was one of the biggest surprises during this year’s training camp, getting a pair of interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — and generating plenty of buzz among the Stamps supporters.
He hasn’t seen a meaningful snap since.
After a stint on the nine-game injured list and four weeks on the practice roster, though, Dixon figures he’s a more polished player.
“Time well spent — I needed that time to develop and become a better player,” Dixon said. “I’m more used to the field, more used to the speed of the game, so I would say I’ve upgraded a lot.”
In Monday’s meeting with the Alouettes, he could get a chance to prove it.
Stamps GM/head coach John Hufnagel indicated earlier this week Dixon is the most likely candidate to replace Isaac on the roster, praising the youngest guy in the locker-room for his work ethic and saying he was “anxious to see him play.”
Anxious would be a good way to describe Dixon, too.
“I want to just step up and show why they chose me. Step up and meet the standards. Just go out there and make plays and win the game.”