When LSU senior tight end Travis Dickson was being recruited as the No. 13 tight end in the country, he didn’t need much convincing to pursue his collegiate career in the Southeastern Conference.
Travis, an Ocean Springs, Mississippi. native from Ocean Springs High School, was surrounded by SEC football all his life.
His father, Dick Dickson, was a lineman for Mississippi State in the 1970s. Travis’ grandfather played for Ole Miss, and his brother, Richard Dickson, was the most productive tight end in LSU history.
Richard was a two time Second-Team All-SEC selection in his collegiate career that spanned from 2006 to 2010. He produced 90 receptions for 952 yards and 10 touchdowns in his four years with the Tigers.
Travis primarily played fullback and defensive end his first three years in high school before permanently switching to tight end his senior season because recruits projected him as most valuable at that position.
The jump from one side of the ball to the other isn’t an easy one, but for Travis, having a brother like Richard was just what he needed.
Travis and Richard grew up as any normal older and younger brother would, fooling around and always trying to get the better of each another.
“It’s a typical big brother, little brother relationship,” Travis said. “I’ve always gotten beat up on, but it made me a little tougher, and it has gotten to the point where I can beat up on him.”
Football was the most competitive activity between the two. Both Richard and Travis played the game since they were kids, ranging from pickup games in the backyard to rug football games in the house.
“We would go out and play some pigskin in the yard,” Travis said. “We always had the rug football playing on our knees in the living room. We used to always break everything. My dad loved it, but my mom always kind of hated it.”
The bond between Travis and Richard made it easy when Travis made the switch from defense to tight end in high school. He sought out Richard’s advice on how to be the best tight end he could be.
“He was always someone for me to look up to,” Travis said. “Especially in high school, he was where I got most of my advice playing tight end because in high school I didn’t play a whole lot of offense… He was kind of like a separate coach to me.”
His brother’s coaching at the position helped Travis catapult up recruiting boards, earning him a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game before eventually signing with LSU to keep the SEC family tradition alive.
“I grew up SEC,” Travis said. “Growing up in the South, it’s a league every little kid growing up around here wants to play in.”
You can reach Jack Chascin on Twitter @Chascin_TDR.