Going into his senior year John Dickerson IV was looking to make an impact. He showed some solid upside back in 2019 as a route runner, and generally speaking, Dickerson showed good athleticism capable of making defenders miss after the catch. This offseason, Dickerson was looking to take his game to another level.
“What I improved on with my game was my route running ability; that is what I worked on the most, and as you can see, it has gotten better,” said the senior.
That progression was offset with the onset of Covid-19 back in March, but Dickerson made the most of the time he had working out with his teammates.
“The offseason during Covid was a grind coming to practice every day and just working to get better as a player.”
Well, the grind has paid off, and just last Friday Dickerson made one of the best catches we have seen all fall. Islands was lined up in the red zone just outside of the 10-yard line. Dickerson was slotted out to the left sideline in man coverage with no safety help over top. Islands’ savvy senior QB Jadon Adams took the snap, and right away a blitz off the right side flushed him out to the left.
With a trio of defenders in pursuit, Adams lobbed the ball up to Dickerson who had just executed a nice sluggo route and was now in the endzone. The ball was lofted high, but Dickerson was determined to make a play, so he jumped up and leaned back, making a remarkable one-handed catch while also tapping his left foot into the endzone.
Dickerson earned the #3 spot for top play here in the state of Georgia, and deservedly so – to say the least. That play encapsulates all the qualities that we like in Dickerson as a receiver – solid route running, great body control, and hands. The senior shares some of the same analysis.
“The thing that separates me from other players at my position is my feet. I’m quick off the line and with my releases and routes.”
The senior who models his game after Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams might not have the same exact height at 5’11”, but he certainly plays bigger than the competition. In the red zone, Islands has called his number at a good frequency, and he has a handful of touchdowns to show. There is little doubt that Dickerson has improved his top-end speed, and we are consistently seeing him break off long runs. Even more proof is that Dickerson is averaging nearly 20 yards per catch, and has a total of 246 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season.
The bigger revelation this fall though is Dickerson’s impact on the defensive side of the ball where he is recognizing plays quickly and attacking the offense. As a deep safety, Dickerson’s top-end acceleration and field vision are highlighted, and we like the real estate he covers to make a tackle or defend a pass.
The impact this fall is sizeable from Dickerson on both sides of the ball. So far, his Islands program has been thriving earning a top 10 ranking for most of the season after their big statement game against Jenkins. This is uncharted territory for Islands, but if Dickerson is any indicator in the team’s mindset, they are in good hands.
“There is really no goal I have for the season. I play one game at a time.”
We ask recruits all of the time what their goals are to finish off the year, and we typically get varying answers that talk about both the team and individual exploits, but rarely do we get an answer like that. That attitude is a testament to this Islands program, and their focus – expect them to make some noise in the playoffs.
On the recruiting front, Dickerson is letting the process play out and says that things are going well. At the time of writing this, the senior has offers from Trinity Univ, Clarke Univ, Westminster College, Culver-Stockton, Gordon State, Bethany College, and Carthage. We think more schools will enter the picture for the versatile athlete, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on Dickerson and the rest of the players across the state.