The Unknown Bulldawg: Georgia’s punt coverage specialist

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The Unknown Bulldawg: Georgia’s punt coverage specialist

Steven Nixon (59) against Notre Dame at home in 2019.
Steven Nixon (59) against Notre Dame at home in 2019.

Georgia long snapper, Steven Nixon, wasn’t even featured in the preseason media guide, but the graduate student transfer from Mercer has seen action in all 11 games this season.  

If you were to go back and rewatch any Georgia game this season, you might observe on punt coverage that Nixon would probably be the leading Bulldogs’ player downfield. 

Georgia’s roster has No. 59 Nixon listed at 6-foot-0, 230 pounds., and having grown up a Bulldogs fan, the Harrison high school product is now living out his dream. 

“I take a lot of pride in being here,” said Nixon. “I know if my name is not being said or talked about that I am normally doing my job.” 

It seems like Nixon doesn’t mind being out of the limelight, and comes off as very humble. 

“I like to stay behind the scenes, and let (Jake) Fromm, Rod, and those guys take all the credit,” said Nixon. “I think it comes with the nature of the position of not being noticed, and as long as I am doing my job then all is okay.” 

It seems like NIxon has always done his job right throughout his college career, and even in high school. Nixon was a three-year starter for the Hoyas at long snapper and even played a little bit on the offensive line. As a senior, he was selected to the Region 4-6A First Team All-Offense. 

Nixon signed with Mercer in 2015 and started 33 consecutive games at long snapper for the Bears over three seasons. He not only snapped the ball consistently on punts, but he also was known as one of the Bears’ best punt coverage specialists. During his junior season, Nixon accounted for three tackles on punt coverage and even recovered a fumble against Auburn in 2017. 

Going into this week, Georgia is starting to prepare for their annual rivalry game with Georgia Tech, and Nixon has played against the Yellow Jackets before in Bobby Dodd. Head coach Kirby Smart said Monday in his weekly press conference that he still sees Tech as a big rivalry, and Nixon agreed. 

“So I grew up a Georgia fan, and if you grow up here in Georgia you know about the rivalry,” said Nixon. “I played at Tech in 2016 when I was at Mercer. We here at Georgia don’t really like Tech, and the game is all about bragging rights for the next year. It’s more of a pride thing.”

Under new head coach Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech’s offense will be looking a bit different from last year as they aren’t relying solely on the triple-option. Nixon pointed out that preparation is still kind of the same, but is unsure about how Tech’s offense will look on Saturday. 

“It will really be interesting to see how Tech will come out with their new offense and their new coaching staff,” Nixon said. “They’ve had some ups and downs this year, but they just beat N.C. State last week, and we’re just excited to go out there and play against them.” 

Georgia has beaten Georgia Tech 14 of the last 15 times in Bobby Dodd Stadium and handed them a whopping 45-21 loss at home last year, but Smart has stressed the importance of this game all year. A win isn’t guaranteed, and Georgia players have been reminded of the last time they lost to Tech. 

“We have some pictures in the locker room around from that year, when they broke off the hedges,” said Nixon. 

On Saturday, Nixon will be starting his final regular-season game as a Bulldog, so be sure to pay extra attention on punt coverage if the offense brings on the special teams’ unit.

Here is the video from Steven Nixon’s interview:

Steven Nixon’s interview

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.