YSU Football’s Dixon Named First-Team All-Conference 

ST. LOUIS – Youngstown State University senior linebacker Grant Dixon has been named preseason first-team, all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selections.

In addition, three seniors – offensive tackle Dan Becker, tailback Jaleel McLaughlin and safety Zaire Jones – were named preseason second-team.

Defensive end James Jackson and all-purpose standout Christian Turner were named to the honorable-mention squad.

Dixon, who was a first-team selection in the spring season, transferred to YSU from Marist and led the Penguins with 55 tackles. He had 10 or more tackles in three games. He is the first Penguin linebacker to receive first-team honors since James Terry in 2007 and just the sixth overall to earn first-team honors since 1997. 

Becker was a two-time all-league selection and second-team All-MVFC honoree in the spring after earning honorable-mention accolades in 2019. 

McLaughlin was a second-team All-MVFC pick in his first semester at YSU. Making his Penguins debut in the spring, he rushed for 691 yards on 133 carries and scored five touchdowns, averaging 98.7 yards rushing per game. He rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the final five games.

Jones, a second-team pick in the secondary in the spring, was third on the team with 29 tackles.

Jackson was an honorable-mention All-MVFC selection in the spring. He was credited with 20 total tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and a team-high four quarterback hurries.

Turner had 104 yards on 30 carries and caught 11 passes for 71 yards. In his career, he has caught 77 passes for 630 yards and rushed for 997 yards on 210 carries. 

In the preseason poll, YSU was tabbed to finish ninth out of 11 teams. South Dakota State was picked to win the conference while North Dakota State was slated to finish second.

The season begins on Sept. 2 when the Penguins play host to Incarnate Word at Stambaugh Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.