Dixon wins comeback player of the year after missing two seasons, leading Flashes in receiving

Kent+State+wide+receiver+Antwan+Dixon+high-steps+as+he+runs+into+the+end+zone+during+the+first+half+of+the+Flashes+matchup+against+Illinois+at+Memorial+Stadium+on+Sept.+1%2C+2018.+The+Flashes+lost+31-24.%C2%A0

Kent State wide receiver Antwan Dixon high-steps as he runs into the end zone during the first half of the Flashes’ matchup against Illinois at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1, 2018. The Flashes lost 31-24. 

Ian Kreider

Kent State junior wide receiver Antwan Dixon received the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award after a two-year hiatus due to aplastic anemia. 

The rare blood condition first impacted him in high school. Dixon finished his freshman season at Kent State in 2015 after he led the team in receiving with 355 yards on 26 catches through nine games. The symptoms took hold and required a variety of treatments. 

Dixon was bedridden and lost over 50 pounds. Ultimately, he received a bone marrow transplant from his father that, coupled with chemotherapy, allowed him to recover and return to Kent State (2-10) during the 2018 spring semester.

Dixon finished this year with a team-high 532 receiving yards on 52 catches, while playing in every game. He made his presence felt early on in the season opener as he scored Kent State’s first touchdown of the season.

He had his best game in the Flashes’ lone conference win against Bowling Green. He finished with 6 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown en route to a 35-28 win.

Dixon thanked the fans and his family after receiving the news about the award.

“I want to thank my mother and father and whole support system,” Dixon said. “This means the world to me and my family, and I appreciate everyone who has supported me and sent out prayers to me while I was going through my tough times.”

Dixon will be a constant on a young Kent State team going forward. Last season, the Flashes had 36 freshmen on the 95-man roster. Dixon will be one of the driving forces behind a team that will look to greatly improve.

Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]