For Texas Longhorns cornerback Quandre Diggs, his height has been a subject of conversation for a long time, though it hasn't much impacted his play on the field.
So it was hardly surprising when head coach Charlie Strong mentioned it on Monday when discussing the contributions of Diggs in defending star West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White:
Strong on Quandre Diggs: "For his size, he plays so big and plays so smart." 25 balls thrown to Kevin White, whom he covered. 16 catches.— kbohls (@kbohls) November 10, 2014
But it turns out that Diggs is no longer going to stand for his head coach calling him short, for one important reason:
Coach Strong always talking bout me being short but I'm the same height as him.. dude a funny lil fella!— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) November 10, 2014
The Angleton product had another big game against West Virginia after knocking Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of the game last weekend, breaking up a pass intended for Mountaineer wide receiver Jordan Thompson with a big hit and coming up with an interception, his third of the season:
As the pictures above indicated, it took some perfect timing from Diggs to arrive just as the football did and separation Thompson from it.
Against Kansas State, the coaches kept Diggs in his nickel position instead of moving him to chase wide receiver Tyler Lockett, but changed the strategy on Saturday to give Quandre the Giant a shot at the 6'3, 210-pound White.
"What we did, is we knew that White played the left side, so we wanted to make sure he was the left corner, and we put Duke on the other side, and just because it was just a match-up with speed," said Strong. "The thing about Diggs, he's not very tall, but he plays so smart and plays within his ability. He knows what his limitations are, and he plays within them. It's just fun to watch him because you look at that match-up and all year long White has gone up over guys, taking balls away from them. But it was just good to watch how well he played."
And it worked, as Diggs helped hold White to 132 yards on his 16 catches, an average of 8.25 yards per catch that was White's lowest of the season.
On the interception, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen made the mistake of thinking he could beat Diggs on the same route twice.
"I think about it, and look at the play that (Quandre) Diggs made there early with the guy that ends up running a post route," Strong said. "He ends up breaking on the ball, makes an unbelievable break. But you remember the first play of the game he got called for pass interference on the very same play, and the next time he kind of baited him. You could just see. Looking at Quandre, you saw the quarterback's eyes come, and you saw Diggs just go and make that play."
For his part, Diggs credited his coaches for helping him make the play.
"It was the first play that they ran of the game," he said. "I knew I was going to get another opportunity and in my head, you're going to beat me one time but the next time I'm going to go make a play. That's just what I did and it comes from great film review, great study. Coaches give us these great tip sheets and you know, you read those things and you watch that film and great things happen."
It was his 11th interception at Texas, which moved him into ninth place on the all-time list.
On Monday, Diggs teased his teammates for not helping him out more on his interception return:
But junior cornerback Duke Thomas was ready to fire back at his teammate with his own barb:
Life is so much better after a big win, no?