Continued from page 1

“Nobody comes to me and starts talking about it,” Dixon said. “I think that’s how it is around here, that a lot of guys might know about the story, but don’t even know it’s me and I like it like that.”

Dixon said he and linebacker Bart Scott have discussed his past, mostly because it inadvertently came up shortly after he joined the Jets last year.

“We were at Ruth’s Chris Steak House for our defensive dinner at the beginning of the season and Bart was talking about this situation,” Dixon recalled. “He didn’t realize he was talking about me. He was like, `Wow, that was you?’ He kind of became my big bro here.”

Scott said he didn’t change the way he acted toward him when he heard Dixon’s story, but respects his past.

“It wasn’t like when he told me that I was like, `Oh, let me be nice to him now,’” Scott said. “I don’t pass judgment on anybody. It was a rough journey he’s had. I mean, he really showed a lot of character and resiliency by getting through what he went through.”

Dixon attributes that to the tireless efforts of his adoptive parents, Ken and Peri Jones, who are white, and assumed legal guardianship from his grandparents when he was 12. Ken Jones, who met Dixon when he was his baseball coach, and his wife accepted him as their own son _ even if it caused in some family members to stop talking to them at the time.

The Joneses insisted their son was dealt a severe injustice, and made sure they told anyone they could until he was freed.

“I have the strongest parents on Earth,” Dixon said. “They’ve got my back 110 percent. We were always close, but that situation probably brought us even closer.”

After the “Real Sports” segment aired Tuesday night, several fans praised Dixon on Twitter for how he has handled himself and immediately labeled him as their favorite Jets player.

“I’ll be talking to my agent all the time, telling him that I feel like a kid, that this is all a dream that I’m here,” Dixon said. “I think it’s partly because if things hadn’t worked out the right way, I’d still be in there for two more years. I’d be watching all this on TV from the inside. Instead, I’m here, and I’m so happy.”

___

Follow Dennis Waszak on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/DWAZ73