LAS CRUCES — According to 247Sports, Michigan defenseman Andre Seldon was the highest-ranking player out of high school to sign with New Mexico State.
Seldon assumed responsibility for nickel defensive back from the moment he stepped onto campus and has improved over the season in a position that is challenging in Nate Dreiling’s 4-2-5 defense.
“It’s quite a varied role here and I’ve gotten used to doing a lot of different things on defense,” said Seldon. “Depending on the game plan, I could be a blitzer, play man-to-man, be a post-safety, half-field safety, or be a nine-tech. I do everything on the field field. It’s pretty fun to be able to take on that role quite a bit in my freshman year.”
Seldon will be a key match on Saturday at the Liberty (10am, TV: ESPN+ Radio: 99.5 FM KXPZ), taking on Liberty slot Demario Douglas. Douglas leads Liberty with 66 receptions, 899 yards and six touchdowns. The next receiver has 22 receptions.
“I have a good test,” said Seldon. “He’s got over 100 goals and they’re throwing the ball. It should be a good one.”
Seldon came to NM State with four-year eligibility. The four-star Michigan native signed with Michigan via offers from the state of Iowa, Kentucky, Central Michigan, Maryland and Syracuse, among others.
As he entered the transfer portal, Aggie’s safety trainer, Melvin Rice, turned to Seldon.
“It was 11pm and I was on my way to practice,” Seldon said. “I was already on the portal, but what I didn’t know was that my father had previously spoken to Rice during my high school recruitment so they were familiar with each other. My father hit him when I was going to the portal. “
Seldon plays in front of true freshman Malachi McLean, a three-star recruit who has had offers in the states of Colorado, Houston and Utah.
“We’re asking these guys to do a lot and both (Seldon) and Malachi have done a really good job and they both have three years left after this year and we’re excited for these two guys,” Dreiling said.
“Any technique you can think of in football, everybody has to do nickels and it’s so hard to find people who can mark and attack and we think we have two pretty good ones.”
Seldon is seventh on the team with 30 tackles and took back his first career interception for a touchdown on Lamar. The Lamar game marked the first time Seldon played without a bulky cast on his right hand after a thumb fracture against the Florida International.
“They are both strong and play fast,” said Dreiling. “You don’t have to be 6-3, 220 to be able to attack a guy that big. You just need to understand how your leverage works and be ready to go. Andre I don’t think he’s missed more than two or three tackles all year because he understands angles and grabs legs and brings them down.”
While both Seldon and McClean are inside corners this season, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay there next year as senior corners DJ McCullough and Linwood Crump graduate.
“Next year we’re trying to find the top five guys, and whoever they are, we’re plugging them in,” Dreiling said. “The two can play wherever they want. When this season is over and we’re looking for a new five-pointer, Andre could be a free safety or a delimitation corner. We’re just trying to put our best five on the field.”
If Seldon had his way he would move outside but the Aggies have at least one game left, maybe two.
“I’m a corner and it’s my first love,” said Seldon. “I’d like to be out on an island. I like the feeling of not letting this guy catch the ball. We have a good pattern and all corners are also fit when running.”
Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.