It didn't reverberate with quite the force of Friday's other notable departure in the SEC, but Alabama just lost a cornerback it had high hopes for this fall, too: Travell Dixon, widely considered one of the top junior college transfers in the nation, has decided to leave the teamfor "family and personal reasons" without taking a snap in Crimson Tide uniform.
Dixon, a Miami, Fla., native, spent his first two years out of high school at East Arizona Community College and chose Alabama – with great enthusiasm, I might add – over offers from Florida State and just about everyone else last December. He enrolled in January with his sights set on one of the starting positions vacated by NFL-bound corners Dré Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie, but left the spring still toiling behind returning juniors Dee Milliner, Deion Belue and John Fulton on the depth chart. The start of preseason practices brought extra competition from another touted newcomer, freshman Geno Smith.
"I decided to leave due to family and personal reasons," Dixon told the Tuscaloosa News. "I don't know where I am going to go." Coach Nick Saban said coaches "understand the situation and we wish him the best of luck in the future."
Dixon isn't the only loss from the 2012 signing class: Saban also confirmed that freshman wide receiver Chris Black is likely done for the season with a shoulder injury expected to keep him out through mid-November at the earliest. A touted four-star prospect out of Jacksonville, Fla., Black had already worked his way into an unproven rotation during the first week of camp, but now will almost certainly be forced to redshirt.
"[Black] wants to play so bad he can't see straight," Saban said on Thursday. "He had a really good spring. He had a great summer. He was in great shape. He was doing a really good job."