Patriots Draft: NE Spends Time With UTEP OL

A name not well known outside of Texas, this 6-foot-4 lineman has drawn the interest of a number of teams, especially the Patriots. Durability is one of the biggest draws that has attracted attention. This House of a man has started 24 consecutive games and developed into the leader of his college team's offensive line. In New England, he could fill the need for another versatile lineman, which is likely why they have been showing so much interest in him lately.

For an offensive lineman certain qualities are ideal. Size, versatility and durability are a few of them. Offensive tackle Josh House of the University of Texas El Paso possesses all of these qualities.

House stands 6-foot-4, weighs 300 pounds, he can play either tackle or guard and has never missed a game due to injury during his college career.

"I've always had good feet, and playing guard you do a lot more pulling than you do at tackle. I really feel there isn't any position that I couldn't play on the offensive line," he said.

Adding to that versatility, House has taken it upon himself to become a more complete player by developing his special teams skills prior to the 2006 draft.

"Since I've been done with my eligibility, I've been learning how to deep-snap, mostly for field goals. So I feel like if I got an opportunity I'd be able to contribute on PAT's and field goals," he said.

Starting 24 consecutive games during his junior and senior years, House developed into the anchor and leader of UTEP's offensive line, which guided the Miners to consecutive bowl games for the first time in half a century. Additionally, UTEP produced back-to-back eight-win seasons for the third time in school history.

House has no fear about taking his game to the next level. Whether he is protecting Jordan Palmer, his quarterback at UTEP, or an elite NFL quarterback like Peyton Manning, House will not change his method.

"I think it's definitely a challenge that I would like to take on. As an offensive lineman you take pride in your quarterback not being touched. If you leave a game and your quarterback doesn't have any grass stains on his jersey, then you did your job. No matter who the quarterback is, whether it is a college quarterback or a professional quarterback, I think you approach it the same way," House said.

In a testament to House's importance to UTEP, noted in its 2006 Pre-preseason rankings that House was the team's "biggest offensive loss." The leadership he demonstrated on an offensive line whose offense produced 4,818 total yards in 2005 -- the second best total in school history -- and his magnetic personality should spark even more interest among NFL teams in the weeks to come.

"I think I'm a good leader. I was the captain of our offensive line. I'm a very vocal person and I'm also a good person off the field. If anyone needs help with anything, I'm there for them. And I think that's something you need to have as a person, to be a Good Samaritan," he said.

Note: House drew significant interest from both the Colts and the Patriots at his Pro Day. More on UTEP's Pro day and how other UTEP players fared, see 3/3 UTEP Pro Day Review

Part 2: Q & A with Josh House

Todd Taylor is sportswriter of on the network.


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