Philadelphia Union Academy forward Jerren "J.J." Nixon has verbally committed to play college soccer at the University of Virginia, joining teammate Raheem Taylor-Parkes in the 2016 recruiting class for the defending national champions.
Nixon, 17, scored 5 goals in 20 appearances and 7 starts for the U-16 team in his first season with the Union Academy last year. One of his biggest goals was a game-winner he scored for the U-16s in a win over DC United in the Generation Adidas Cup regionals. Another highlight for Nixon on the year was competing with the Trinidad & Tobago U-17 team in CONCACAF World Cup qualification in February.
The son of former Trinidad & Tobago striker Jerren Nixon, he played in Lilburn, Georgia with Gwinnett Soccer Association before joining the Union Academy and was born in Zurich, Switzerland when his dad was playing for FC Zürich.
Nixon told TopDrawerSoccer he chose Virginia because he felt a personal connection with the staff. "I was very impressed with the school and the first-class education that I can receive there," he said.
Nixon is one of several Academy players heading to ACC programs in 2016. Auston Trusty and Jack Skahan are verbally committed to North Carolina, Michael Swift to Clemson and Joseph DeZart to Wake Forest.