For an undrafted free agent looking to make an impact in a deep New Orleans Saints receiver room, Dai’Jean Dixon doesn't lack confidence.
In fact, if you ask him, he's a superstar, complete with black-painted toe nails.
"I feel like I'm a rockstar, I don't really show that to everybody," Dixon said. "Gameday, practice, everyday, I'm trying to rock out."
A New Orleans native who played collegiately at Nicholls State, Dixon had a decorated career with the Colonels. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver was named first team All-Southland Conference three times and was the first Colonel to produce two 1,000-yard receiving seasons. In 2019, Dixon finished second in the FCS with 116.0 yards receiving per game. He finished his college career ranked second in Southland Conference history in receptions, third in receiving yards and fourth in touchdown receptions.
"I've always believed that I belonged here," Dixon said. "That's what I worked for, and I'm getting closer and closer to my dreams."
Despite the gaudy numbers and the rockstar mentality, Dixon went undrafted and is now working to earn his spot in the Saints locker room. He had a solid debut against the Texans, catching three passes for 33 yards. The wideout said it means a lot to him to be given a shot.
"It doesn't matter where you're at, as long as you put in the work, someone is going to see you," Dixon said. "You can be anything that you want to be in life as long as you're putting forth effort to it."
In an attempt to stand out, Dixon has spent a lot of time on special teams during training camp, even though he said he only played on the hands team at Nicholls State.
"I'm a fast learner, and I'm an undrafted free agent, so I'm just doing whatever I can to make the team," Dixon said. "I'm excited about being here, and I'm ready to get this thing on the road… I feel like my coaches believe in me, and I feel like I'm doing better and better everyday."
Dixon is one of many additions to the Saints this year who grew up in and around New Orleans. New faces such as Jarvis Landry and Tyrann Mathieu played their high school and college ball in the Bayou State. Dixon said it's a great feeling being home, and he wants to perform for his family and friends.
"Every day before practice, I look at myself in the mirror and just think about the opportunity I have," Dixon said. "Before I go out there, I kind of put myself in a certain mood, and then I go out there, and I play."
The Edna Karr High School product prides himself on the mental aspect of his game. He said he takes adjusting to the NFL one day at a time, but it gets easier as time goes on.
"Everybody has the physical ability, so on this professional level, it's more mental than anything," Dixon said. "I feel like a lot has been thrown at me, but I feel like I'm doing a good job at handling it. Day in, day out, I'm studying, trying to make sure I know my assignments."
Dixon's mental fortitude has caught the eye of Coach Dennis Allen, who said he likes the rookie's size and how he's able to transition in his routes.
"Those are good qualities to have," Allen said.
Dixon said he specifically works on transitioning and getting in and out of his routes. Being a taller player, he said he has to drop his weight a lot, so he works on his footwork as well as speed.
"Being a receiver, you have to have great body control," Dixon said. "That's just part of being a receiver and just a player, everybody should be able to transition."
As a rookie in a crowded receiver room, Dixon said he's been able to learn from the veterans on the team, both in the receiver group and outside of it. He specifically mentioned players like Demario Davis, Mathieu, Landry and Michael Thomas.
"Our receiver room, they are great guys," Dixon said. "So we're learning from each other. Each and every day, we're just getting better."
Dixon said every chance he gets to put on the black and gold helmet is special, whether it's game time under the lights or a practice in the middle of August.
"It's my job now," Dixon said. "I'm still having fun with it, but it's a lot on the line. I can't take this opportunity for granted."