Q&A with David Nixon

David Nixon, a senior linebacker at A&M Consolidated High in College Station, <!--Default For Texas is to ignore-->Texas, is the <!--Default NodeId For BYU is 522,2005--><A HREF=http://byu.TheInsiders.com>BYU</a> fan's dream.

He's from a strong, huge LDS family (10 kids) and always wanted to come to BYU. He launched himself as a national caliber prospect at last spring's Nike Football Camp held at Texas A&M, just minutes from his home.

At that event, the third cousin to the former U.S. President, Richard Nixon, weighed in at 6-3, 200 pounds and ran a 4.56 in the 40 and jumped 30 inches in the vertical.

The Aggies, under then coach R.C. Slocum, offered Nixon in May and the next month the linebacker was offered at the Cougar summer camp. Arizona and New Mexico also came on strong, but it was apparent from the beginning that this was a two-horse race between the school of his religion and the school in his hometown.

I caught up with David Tuesday afternoon as he waited to leave for a basketball game. He reflected on his season, the home visit last week from Gary Crowton and other issues of interest for BYU fans.

Your team recently lost 21-17 to Tyler in the Conference 5A, Div. I Regional II finals were you disappointed with the loss or proud of how far you went this?
I'd have to say real disappointed. Though we could go further, it ended very close. We had them up 17-14 and with four minutes left they scored. I was mad we couldn¹t stand up to the test. We got to their 18, first and 10, and a pass in the end zone went through a receivers' hands. On third down, again near the goal line, the receiver caught it, dropped it, caught it and then dropped it when he hit the ground. It was tough because I know we could have beat them.

A pretty good season, other than winning it all, did you hit every goal you set for yourself?
I did. Before the season, my personal goal was to lead the team in tackles which I did. I think I had close to 130; I had 114 going into the last game and I did well in our loss. I was also the defensive MVP of our district and I was pretty satisfied with that. On the team side, I was very happy with the way we made the playoffs as a team.

The standout play of your season?
Definitely, I'd go with our first round win over Round Rock. They were driving and we were up 13-7. Round Rock was on our seven yard line with 30 seconds left. Their quarterback dropped back, our middle linebacker hit him and the ball came to me. I grabbed it with one hand and went 91 yards for a touchdown.

Your home visit with BYU, how'd it go?
It went really well. I was sitting at dinner with him thinking, "I can't believe the head football coach of BYU is at my house!' He told me I'm probably not going to redshirt so I'll have that option when coming off my mission to do. He also said only (Brett) Denney and me are committed right now, but scholarships are freeing up. I think they're now up to six available. The visit was more of a social thing. We talked about each other's families. He has a nephew that was on my football team and I think he stayed with them.

On film you line up on the end, a standup defensive end almost. What position will BYU put you at?
Our base at Consolidated was a 4-3 but we ran a 50 defense a lot and I loved it. My coach just let me run free. A lot of scouts were impressed I was able to blitz on pass plays and on runs I'd check the runners. At BYU they'll put me at weakside linebacker.

Your thoughts on Ken Schmidt, the BYU defensive coordinator, retiring?
When Coach Crowton was here, our family brought up the Schmidt thing including my brother-in-law, Neal Daley, played at BYU under Coach Schmidt as a linebacker. Coach Crowton mentioned that Schmidt does a good job and there weren¹t any indications he'd be leaving. I never got to play under him or experience his coaching but as a person I really enjoyed talking to him. It didn't surprise me too much, I heard the rumors, but it was a big surprise. He told me he was planning on coming down in January for a house visit and I was looking forward to it.

What do you think about the situation at A&M, with Slocum out and Franchione coming in?
Saturday, Tim Cassady (the A&M recruiting coordinator) called me at the house and told him Franchione was with him and they wanted to set up a time for lunch with me. Today, one of the new coaches pulled me out of lunch at school and he pretty much gave me his background and said, 'What about you, any interest in A&M?' I said, 'I'm still committed to BYU.' He said, 'I knew that coming in, but they told me to come work on you.' I'm still 100 percent committed, but I'd like to meet Coach Franchione and I might do an unofficial visit up on campus.

So what do you do know that football's over with?
I had a one day rest after football season, going from the Saturday playoff game to basketball on Monday. It's helped ease the loss of football although I wish I was still playing. Our basketball team is struggling but it¹s going along good. We're very small so I play the four and the five spots (at only 6-foot-3) when our center, who's 6-foot-6, is out.

What's the best, and worst, part of being one of 10 kids?
The best thing is having all your brothers and sisters together during the holidays, spending time with them and having fun. The worst? I never looked at it this way. Maybe you're not spoiled, I guess! The wealth is spread throughout all the kids, but it's all fine. I focus on the good parts of being from a big family.

When will you head up to Provo?
Coach Crowton said I didn't have to be up there until August. I'll probably stay home over the summer; my mom doesn't want to let go of me just yet!

What were your thoughts about BYU's subpar season?
It hurt me a lot to sit and watch them not do that well. A lot of people made fun of me here and it was real tough, but I knew they were young and inexperienced. Hopefully we'll do well next year---we'll have to with the schedule. It's brutal.

What's the one thing that sold you on BYU?
Pretty much the religious background and the fact I'll have brothers and sisters there. I've always wanted to go there and always wanted to play football, but never thought I'd be able to do that there. Plus, I love the hot Mormon girls!

Describe in terms of percentage how committed you are to suiting up for the Cougars next year?
Right now, it's 100 percent.

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