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Game ‘slowing down’ for Stephen Dix Jr. after busy freshman season

“I can feel the game slowing down. I could feel myself picking up on things faster.”

FSU sports information

Florida State football has completed day three of fall practice. Linebacker Stephen Dix Jr. was one of the players made available to the media today. Last season, Dix recorded 45 total tackled and 3.5 tackles for loss. His 45 tackles were good for third on the team. The redshirt freshman was excited to be back on the field with his teammates.

Dix said, “We’re all excited to be back on the field, playing football. We have high expectations and high hopes for the season to come back and bounce back and show the improvements that we made in the off season. We’re just out here just trying to get our 1% like coach says and just focusing on the climb every day.”

Despite being a true freshman, Dix played the most snaps of any Florida State linebacker in 2020, per PFF. He played in all nine games and started each of the final five games.

“I think the playing time I received last year as a freshman was more than I expected, honestly, I was kind of tossed into the fire there. I responded the best way that I could and it made me tougher, more mentally strong, and more confident out there now that I’ve been playing college football with the many reps I had. I just come out here and I can feel the game slowing down. I could feel myself picking up on things faster. I just gotta keep taking it one day at a time and just keep getting better.”

The extra playing time gave Dix the ability to learn about himself and the things he needs to improve on moving forward. “I felt like I needed to improve on being a leader and as the Mike linebacker of the defense, I got to be able to make the call and the adjustments. I got to take more pride in that and knowing where I’m supposed to be and knowing the defense more so I can know where my teammates are and where my help is,” said Dix.

On Friday, Mike Norvell joked that he didn’t think Stephen Dix had an ounce of fat on his body after an impressive offseason in the weight room. Despite adding weight, the linebacker feels that he still has his speed. “When I go out there and run, I still feel like I’m 225, when I’m really almost 240 pounds.”

For Dix’s full presser, see below (Video via FSU Sports Information):