Former Trojan Kyle Nixon continues to make an impact through Common Ground Troy

Published 12:13 pm Friday, April 21, 2023

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Kyle Nixon was a star football player for Troy University but now he’s giving back to the Troy community in a different way, as a part of Common Ground Troy.

Common Ground Troy (CGT) is one of three Common Ground locations in Alabama, which provides after-school programs, camps and mentorship for children. Nixon has been a part of CGT since his time at Troy University.

Growing up in Fort Valley, Ga., Nixon was a star player at Peach County High School alongside his twin brother, Kevin Nixon. The two brothers earned all-state honors together in high school leading to both athletes earning scholarships to play at Troy.

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“I was on a football scholarship with my twin brother and I felt like (Troy) was the perfect place for me,” Nixon said. “It’s a small town but I have everything I need here, I love the football program and I love the people here.”

As a safety at Troy, Nixon played in 53 career games and earned PFF All-Sun Belt honors as a senior when he tallied 51 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and one interception in 2021. His honors weren’t just on the football field, however, as Nixon and teammate Dylan Bradshaw both were named to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society.

The prestigious honor is bestowed on players nominated by their schools that attained a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.2 and was a staring player for their school.

Nixon was an All-Sun Belt safety with the Trojans. (Photo courtesy of Troy University Athletics)

While Nixon was tackling ball carriers on the field, he was spending his time off it helping children in the community.

“It just happened by coincidence, really,” Nixon said of his work with CGT. “My pastor introduced me to this dude named (CTG Executive Director) Clint Free. We met at church and had lunch one day and he offered me a summer job. Ever since then, I’ve been here. I’ve just loved it, loved being with the kids and being able to serve them.”

At CTG, the staff there help students in the city with after-school programs but also work with students with STEM programs and other high school programs.

“My favorite thing about it is just seeing the excitement in the kids that are willing to learn and ready to learn,” Nixon emphasized. “When a kid gets a math problem right – or even when they get it wrong – it’s so exciting. It can hear them, after getting a problem wrong, like ‘Oh, I understand where I messed up and I can do better.’ Just that openness to grow always gets me excited.”

Following his graduation from Troy, CTG offered Nixon a full-time job with the group and he now serves as Assistant Program Coordinator.

“It felt like a dream come true,” Nixon said of being offered the position. “I felt like that’s where I wanted to be. I want to be in the City of Troy working with these kids and this opportunity just sort of fell into my life and I couldn’t not take it.”

While Nixon was a starting safety at Troy, and most athletes want to continue to chase the dream of playing professionally, Nixon said he was ready to move on from the game he loved.

“After awhile the injuries took a toll on me throughout school, so I felt like I would go after this opportunity (instead),” he said. “I love football and I always will but this the opportunity right now for me to grow as a person. My coaches put me in a position to get a great education and I didn’t take that for granted and I wanted to take this opportunity while I had the chance.”

Nixon was emphatic that it’s important for young people – of his age – to give back to the younger children in the community, as older generations did for his generation.

“I think it’s important because the younger crowd has a different incite than older people,” he continued. “Just like the wisdom that was bestowed on us by the older generation, we have our own wisdom we can give back to the generations that are younger than us. We can help improve their quality of life and I feel like we have so much to offer these children.”

Nixon said he’s most excited about some of the workforce development programs that CTG is working on moving forward.
“My goals right now are, honestly, to focus on Common Ground and the continued growth of Common Ground and our high school program,” he said. “Clint Free and I are working on trying to build a workforce development program to get these guys college ready and work ready. Helping Common Ground Troy grow to what it can be, and I hope God can help us see that fulfilled, is really what I’m focused on.”

CTG accepts donations and volunteers for their programs and camps. For more information, visit or E-Mail