Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Andre Seldon lived up to expectations in the first year at New Mexico State

LAS CRUCES – According to 247Sports, Michigan transfer defensive back Andre Seldon was the highest ranked player out of high school to sign with New Mexico State.

Seldon took ownership of the nickel defensive back from the moment he stepped on campus and has improved throughout the season at a position that is demanding in Nate Dreiling’s 4-2-5 defense.

“It’s kind of a diverse role here and I’ve gotten used to doing a lot of different things for the defense,” Seldon said. “Depending on the game plan, I could be a blitzer, play man-to-man, be a post safety, a half field safety or a nine-technique. I do everything on the field field. It’s pretty fun being able to take on that role in my first year of playing pretty much.”

Seldon will be a key matchup on Saturday at Liberty (10 am, TV: ESPN+ Radio: 99.5 FM KXPZ), lining up against 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,” Seldon said. “He has over 100 targets and they throw the ball. It should be a good one.”

Seldon came to NM State with four years of eligibility. The Michigan native and four-star recruit signed with Michigan over offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Central Michigan, Maryland and Syracuse among others.

When he entered the transfer portal, Aggie’s safeties coach Melvin Rice reached out to Seldon.

André Seldon

“It was 11 at night and I was on my way to go workout,” Seldon said. “I was already in the portal, but what I didn’t know what that previously my dad was talking to Rice during my recruitment in high school so they were familiar with each other. My dad hit him up when I went to the portal. “

Seldon plays in front of true freshman Malachi McLean, a three-star recruit that had offers at Colorado State, Houston and Utah State.

“We ask those guys to do a lot and both (Seldon) and Malachi have done a really good job and both of them have three years left after this year and we are excited about both of those guys,” Dreiling said.

“Every technique you could think of in football is what every nickel has to do and it’s so hard to find people who can cover and tackle and we feel we have two pretty good ones.”

Seldon is seventh on the team with 30 tackles and he took his first career interception back for a touchdown against Lamar. The Lamar game was the first time Seldon played without a bulky cast on his right hand after a thumb fracture against Florida International.

“They are both strong and they play fast,” Dreiling said. “You don’t need to be 6-3, 220 to be able to tackle a guy that big. You just need to understand how your leverage works and wMchere to go. Andre I don’t think he’s missed more than two or three tackles all year because he understands angles and to grab legs and get them down.”

While both Seldon and McClean are inside corners this season, it doesn’t mean they will stay there next year as senior corners DJ McCullough and Linwood Crump graduate.

“Next year we try to find the best five guys and whoever they are, we plug them in,” Dreiling said. “Those two can play wherever they want. Once this season is over with and we are looking for a new five, Andre might be a free safety or a boundary corner. We just try to get our best five on the field.”

If it was up to Seldon, he would move to the outside, but the Aggies still have at least one, maybe two, games left to play.

“I’m a corner and it’s my first love,” Seldon said. “I would love to be on the outside on an island. I like the feeling of not letting this guy catch the ball. We have a good scheme and all of the corners are in the run fit, too.”

Jason Groves can be reached at 575-541-5459 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jpgroves.

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