BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
When Davon House came to New Mexico State last season, he had every intention of being a redshirt.
The Aggies' coaching staff had other ideas.
The razor-thin House (6-0, 179) ended up not only playing in every game, but starting the final six at left cornerback in place of Vincent Butler and contributed on special teams, too.
House led the team in interceptions with four for 171 yards, including a 100-yarder for a TD against Idaho. He also averaged 23.5 on four kickoff returns.
"He had a nice season for us," coach Hal Mumme said. "He had some big plays during the season."
It's a mature, more relaxed House in 2008. He got his feet wet last year and wants to have an even bigger impact with the defense, and he brings plenty of confidence to the table.
The Aggies' new 3-3-5 defense could make things easier on House, but also make it tough for him at times. The Aggies will attack more this year from all over the field, and that means that House will likely be 1 on 1 a lot of the time.
The sophomore left cornerback welcomes the challenge.
"I like being 1 on 1," House said. "The way I see it, it's me or the receiver, and the better guy is going to win. I know I'm going to get beat a couple of times. That's the nature of the position."
House also knows that much of his success will be predicated on how much pressure the Aggies can put on the opposing quarterback.
"We're going to be more aggressive this year," House said. "We'll come from all different angles. The quarterback is going to have to get the ball away in a hurry or get sacked. We want to put as much pressure on him (the QB) as possible."
House played much of the second half against Boise State and saw action against Louisiana Tech. It was the Boise game where he got a little nervous. After all, it was a televised game.
"It usually take a couple of series' to get settled down," House said. "I'd never been that nervous before."
Two weeks later, House made his first conference start against Idaho, and he had the game of his life. House intercepted two passes, returning one a school-record 100 yards for a score. He took the other back 64 yards. The Aggies won 45-31.
"When I caught the ball, I saw the other cornerback and he was yelling to take it back," House said. "Green was all I saw. I don't think I took a breath the whole time."
House went on to add interceptions against Hawaii (Colt Brennan was the quarterback) and Nevada, though both came in losing efforts.
House's interception against Nevada came with 4:30 left in the game. The Aggies failed to capitalize, dropping a 40-38 decision when their place-kicker missed a field goal as time expired.
Despite what most would term a stellar year, House said he continues to work hard on fundamentals.
"My feet (footwork) were not great, but not horrible" he said. "My ball ability, speed and height are plusses. Last year was only the third year I'd played cornerback."
House spent his first two years in high school playing baseball. His brother, Tyreace, plays outfield for the Oakland A's farm team in the Arizona Rookie League.
"I loved baseball," House said. "Watching my brother play (football), I didn't want to miss out. I played a little offense and a little defense."
No doubt the Aggies expect House to play more than just a "little defense."
THE HOUSE FILE
Birthplace: Palmdale, Calif
Year in school: Sophomore
Major: Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management