While Andre the Giant stood at 7-foot-4-inches. “Quandre the Giant” — as junior defensive back Quandre Diggs likes to be known — stands at just 5-foot-10-inches.
Size difference aside, the defensive back has become one of Texas’ strongest defensive players in his three years on the 40 Acres. Whether it’s his ability, work ethic or
desire, Diggs earned his reputation because of his attitude and fearless nature.
“Quandre has a passion for the game,” senior cornerback Carrington Byndom said. “He is going to play hard every snap and every down.”
Diggs plays with a consistent chip on his shoulder, occasionally using negative attention and criticism as motivation. Diggs likes to prove people wrong.
“He’s just a player,” Byndom said. “He’s trying to go out there, and he’s trying to prove a point. If you want to say it’s a chip on his shoulder then there it is. I guess you can call it that.”
Teammates gravitate toward Diggs’ outspoken personality, which has established him as an unquestioned team leader. When Greg Robinson took over the defensive play-calling duties from Manny Diaz, head coach Mack Brown and his staff went to Diggs to convince the players to buy into the new coach.
“He’s one of the guys that [defensive backs coach] Duane [Akina] would bring in and say ‘We need your help. You have a voice on this team,’” Brown said. “‘You and Adrian Phillips are the two they are going to listen to. So here’s what we need, and here’s what we need you to do.’ He has really taken that role and stepped up and have been key to getting this team back on top.”
One of Diggs’ role models is his brother Quentin Jammer, who was a safety for Texas from 1997-2001 and currently plays for the Denver Broncos after 11 years with the San Diego Chargers. Jammer, who will be inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor this Friday, continues to teach Diggs even while he’s in college.
“I couldn’t even point out one specific thing because he’s taught me so much,” Diggs said. “He’s a father figure to me even though he’s my brother. Words can’t describe all the things my brother has done for me. I’m thankful to have a brother like him in my life.”
The pair are similar in stature and their impact on the field, but Brown said Diggs has a much larger leadership role than his brother did.
“Quandre is a much better communicator than Quentin was,” Brown said. “Quandre talks all the time. He’s very positive and upbeat. Quandre is in the middle of that defense and really leading a lot. Quentin wouldn’t have said much. That’s the biggest difference between them.”
Diggs may not be the largest Longhorn in stature, but no one on the team would dispute his nickname. The fleet-footed, sharp-tongued junior stands nothing short of a giant.