Boyblue Aoelua received a promotion this spring.
The New Mexico State Aggie junior went from special teams player in 2009 to starting middle linebacker candidate in 2010.
"Big difference," Aoelua said following Wednesday's practice at Aggie Memorial Stadium. "Last year, I just played on special teams. Now, I've got to know where everyone's lined up and their assignments. It's kind of like being the quarterback of the defense. It's not an easy task. But it's fun."
NMSU head coach DeWayne Walker said he's been happy with the play of the 5-foot-10, 217 pound linebacker from American Samoa.
"He understands his assignments this year," Walker said. "He knows when to kick our tackles over or when to get us in another defensive front. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised with Boyblue."
2009 (Sophomore): Aoelua played in nine games for NM State in 2009 on special teams. He tallied two tackles on the year, one coming against Prairie View A&M (9/12) and New Mexico (9/26).
2008 (Freshman): Aoelua played middle linebacker and on special teams for the Aggies in seven games in 2008 before suffering a season-ending injury. On the season, he tallied six tackles and a fumble recovery. Aoelua recorded three straight games with two tackles against New Mexico (9/27), Alcorn State (10/4) and Nevada (10/11).
High School: He was the Fagaitua High School starting linebacker for three years, helping his team to three straight island championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005, finishing as the island runner-up in 2006. He and Fagaitua High School posted back-to-back undefeated seasons in 2004 and 2005. He was a first team All-AHSS selection during his junior and senior seasons. In his senior season, he recorded 64 tackles, six sacks, two interceptions and five fumble recoveries. He also played in the Samoa Bowl in 2005 and 2006 and was named to the AHSS All-Star team both years. He was also a member of the Honor Roll all four years of high school.
Personal: Aoelua is the son of Solmio and Auga Aoelua. He is majoring in geography.