The Georgia Bulldogs are adding a piece to its football team in the form of an in-state transfer student.
Steven Nixon, a member of the Mercer Bears football team since 2015, announced last week that he would transferring to the University of Georgia to finish out his college football career as a graduate transfer student.
Nixon, the team’s starting long snapper, informed the Mercer coaches that he planned to transfer back in the spring to a graduate program in order to pursue a masters in business administration after graduating from Mercer with honors. The Mercer coaches were happy to assist Nixon in the process, he said.
“I started talking to some schools and ended up getting an offer from Georgia State,” Nixon said. “A few days later Georgia offered me and I went ahead and committed.”
For Nixon, there were multiple factors that he took into account when selecting the school to transfer to. He narrowed his list down to a few including Vanderbilt, Clemson and Georgia. He eventually selected Georgia because it checked all his boxes, he said.
“I wanted to stay in the Southeast close to my family.” Nixon said. “Georgia was close. I grew up being a Dogs fan. I grew up going to the games. I felt like that was the place I needed to be.”
Nixon is excited to join a team that is coming off of a National Championship appearance a year ago and competing once again for a spot in the College Football Playoff this season. The chance to join a stacked roster is one he isn’t taking lightly.
“There is a great challenge that lies before me. I am not going in with a starting job. I have got to go beat the other snappers that have already been there,” Nixon said. “I am ready to put in the work for it no doubt.”
Mercer Bears head coach Bobby Lamb will be rooting for his player to do well at the University of Georgia.
“Steven represented Mercer University and our football program by excelling in the classroom and on the field as our starting long snapper for three years,” Lamb said in a statement to The Telegraph. “We wish Steven the best of luck as he finishes his college football career at the University of Georgia next year.”
Nixon redshirted his first season. The following season he played in nine games for the Bears. By his sophomore season he played in all 11 games for Mercer. Many may remember him as the player who recovered a key fumble in the Bears game against Auburn after the Tigers returner coughed up the football. It gave Mercer a chance to pull off an upset against the Tigers but would come up just short 24-10.
Nixon believes that his experiences at Mercer will be a key in his success at Georgia. While at Mercer, he played against top FBS level competition on a few occasions. Those games include Georgia Tech, Auburn, Alabama and Memphis. Nixon said that when he was deciding which school to transfer to he would go back and watch the tape against those schools. He wanted to make sure that he was making the right decision by transferring somewhere to play against schools like those on a weekly basis.
“Those were some of my best games I have had here while I was at Mercer. When we played Auburn, I was the special teams player of the game,” he said. “I already have the experience. It is not like I’ve never played in front of 80,000 fans before.”
While he is excited to join the Bulldogs, he is thankful for his time spent as a Bear.
“Coming out of high school I had offers from Auburn, Kennesaw State, Wofford and by far Mercer was the best decision I made,” Nixon said. “The fans here and the friends that I have made here, I will take with me the rest of my life..it has been a fun ride.”
Nixon will join a Bulldog roster that will be graduating its current long snapper, Nick Moore, at the end of the season. The only other long snapper listed on the roster is freshman Palmer Henderson. He says that the Bulldog faithful can expect someone who will work hard for the team.
“I have never been the most athletic. I am not the biggest guy and I am not the strongest guy,” Nixon said. “I pride myself on my work ethic. That goes from the classroom all the way to the field. I’m a hard worker.”
While Lamb and the Bears hate to see him leave, they are positive that he will do well in his next chapter.
“He is a great example of what it takes to be a student-athlete at the collegiate level and has a bright future ahead of him.” said Lamb.