2013 Virginia Football Roster Profile: Mario Nixon

USA TODAY Sports

We're now at 66 days and counting until kickoff. Since the Hoos do not currently have a #66, we will again look back at a player we missed. Today, that player is TE Mario Nixon. Nixon is a bit of a tweener. Not really big enough to be a quality TE, not really explosive enough to be a WR. He'll need a couple more years to keep bulking up and adding strength before he's really ready to have an impact on the field.

Position: TE
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 215
Hometown: Norfolk, Va
High School: Norfolk Christian

Mario Nixon was rated as a 3 star recruit by all three major services. However, that is misleading, because ESPN rated him as a TE whereas Scout and Rivals rated him as a WR. He was ranked #97 by Rivals and #102 by Scout. ESPN ranked him 56th among TEs.

All the confusion about his position continued right up until he arrived at UVA. Even now, there is some debate. He's listed on the roster and the depth chart as a TE, but at just 215 pounds, he looks a lot more like a WR. Nixon certainly does not have the size or strength to line up as an in-line TE right now. He is much more likely to line up outside and hope to get a mismatch. With 3 solid TEs ahead of him on the roster, Nixon isn't likely to get much playing time at all on offense. He should get some playing time on special teams though.

In the future, Nixon has the potential to be a real weapon as a pass catching TE. He has good hands, but does need to work on catching the ball away from his body. He has good speed for a TE, and has the ability to go up and get a ball. Still, he needs to add size and strength before he can really be an asset on the field. He also needs to stay healthy, as he missed much of this past season with a torn labrum.

With the top two TEs entering their junior season, Nixon has a couple of years before he really needs to be ready. If he can add some size, he'll get some looks next year due to the mismatches he can create as a TE lined up outside. But in another 2 years, he'll find himself on the 2-deep and will need to be ready to play.

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