OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon had only one thought when he walked into the hotel room last week and saw that Navy's Keenan Reynolds was his roommate for Baltimore Ravens rookie minicamp.
"I’ve got to get his autograph for my momma," he said. "She’s a big fan of his."
It's unknown whether Reynolds' signature served as a Mother's Day gift, but these roommates share a connection beyond maternal admiration.
Reynolds and Dixon have scored the most touchdowns in NCAA history. Reynolds, a triple-option quarterback with a nose for the end zone, finished with 88, which was one more than Dixon, a versatile running back who scored a touchdown in his final 38 games.
Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said selecting the NCAA's career touchdown leaders on the final day of the draft "wasn't necessarily by design."
"Obviously, both guys are playmakers, but it was a cool stat to see that; 175 touchdowns combined on the third day of the draft is pretty good," DeCosta said. "I think both guys are creative, excellent in space, versatile players. Both are smart, good, tough, competitive and durable guys."
The Ravens took Dixon in the fourth round, which is considered a steal because Dixon was ranked by some as the second-best running back in this draft. Baltimore then selected Reynolds in the sixth round, which reportedly was just before the New England Patriots could get him.
Now, Reynolds and Dixon are teammates and the touchdown record is a frequent topic of conversation.
“We talked about it last night ... we kind of talk about it all the time,” Dixon said. “I'm not going to let him get out of here without talking about it.”
On Dec. 20, Dixon scored four touchdowns in the New Orleans Bowl to move ahead of Reynolds for the all-time lead. Eight days later, Reynolds played in the Military Bowl and Dixon watched on TV to see if his record would remain intact.
“Kind of late in the game, they took him out and put the other quarterback in,” Dixon said. “I was like, ‘OK, we’re tied, so I can breathe a little bit.’ I went to the store and came back, and as soon as I walked in, he scored a touchdown.”
Dixon said he then turned off the TV. He described the moment as bittersweet and acknowledged that he was mad at the time that he didn't finish atop the touchdown list.
“I gave him his props, but I told him if I had those other two games, then he probably wouldn’t have been the leader,” said Dixon, who was sidelined for two games in 2015 with an ankle injury.
Dixon will have a chance to contribute right away if he can separate himself from a crowded running back group that includes Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West and Trent Richardson. Reynolds is making the transition to wide receiver, but he should get on the field immediately if he can win the returner job.
"We’ve been talking a lot about playmakers throughout the process, and just helping us move the ball and making important plays on offense and defense in critical situations," DeCosta said, "and those two guys can do that as good as anybody in the draft.”