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May 16, 2008Dallas LB will be all that he can be with Tech, not Army
Dion Chidozie hasn't been to Lubbock, and later this month is the first time he'll visit the Texas Tech campus. But he didn't need to see either to act on the appeal of Big 12 Conference football.
Chidozie, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound outside linebacker from Dallas Bishop Lynch, made an oral commitment to the Red Raiders on Sunday.
"I've been getting offers from military academies," he said. "That wasn't really what I was into. I never expected to get a Big 12 offer like this. It was really exciting for me. I took it because playing Texas football is one of my dreams."
Chidozie, who also has offers from Army, Air Force and Louisiana Tech, said he actually weighed Tech's offer for a couple of weeks before deciding to take it.
Keller Fossil Ridge wide receiver Aaron Fisher needed less time. Fisher committed at the end of last week, a day after Tech coaches offered him a scholarship.
"They told me they were only going to take one receiver, so I made up my mind real quick," said Fisher, who caught 63 passes for 1,059 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for a 10-2 team.
Oral commitments are non-binding. The national signing period begins Feb. 4 for next season's high school seniors.
As a junior last season, Chidozie wreaked havoc as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He was credited with 64 tackles, 18 behind the line of scrimmage, 10 sacks and 29 quarterback pressures for a team that finished 7-5. He also had seven caused fumbles, one recovery, a pass breakup, a blocked punt and two safeties.
His best asset?
"Speed rush, definitely," he said.
Chidozie said he was told by a Tech coach that the Raiders view him as someone who can rush the passer and cover slot receivers as needed.
Fisher, who said he's 6-3 and 185, lit up defenses last season as an outside receiver in an offense similar to Tech's. He made honorable mention Class 4A all-state on both the Texas Sports Writers Association and Associated Press Sports Editors teams.
"We run the spread offense just like Tech's, except we probably run the ball a little bit more," Fisher said.
Fisher said he had scholarship offers from 11 schools. Among them have been Kansas, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Boise State, Arizona, Iowa and Purdue.
He said he's had plenty of time to get comfortable with Tech, which showed interest in him toward the end of last season, and more than one reason for committing to the Red Raiders.
"The spread offense is good for a receiver, and second is how good the school is - the academics and everything," he said.
Fisher, who also returned a kickoff for a touchdown last season, said he's been timed in under 4.5 seconds for the 40-yard dash, but he said more than just his speed makes him a prospect.
"If I would say anything, I would say my route running and my speed," he said. "Most people are fast or can run routes, but I can do both."
Chidozie and Fisher both said they expect no problems meeting academic eligibility requirements. Chidozie said he has a 3.5 grade-point average, and Fisher said he carries a 3.6.
Don Williams | LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL