GREEN BAY – Davon House has learned to savor the small moments in life just a little bit longer during his first full season away from the football field.
Like the joy it brings the former Packers cornerback when he sits down and watches old highlights on YouTube with his oldest son, Lavon, who was born in Green Bay prior to one of the most memorable seasons of Davon's NFL career in 2014.
"To this day, he still talks about the Packers when they're on TV. He's like, 'Daddy, it's our favorite team,'" House said.
"Whenever he sees Kevin King on TV, he goes, 'Daddy, is that you?' I'm like, 'No, that's one of daddy's friends.' Green Bay has always been home and always will be."
And that's why House informed the Packers this week he wished to retire with the organization that drafted him in the fourth round out of New Mexico State back in 2011.
House, 30, played six of his eight NFL seasons with the Packers, recording 123 tackles, 46 passes defensed, three interceptions and three forced fumbles in 55 regular-season games (26 starts).
A 6-foot, 195-pound press-man corner, House didn't start playing football until his junior year of high school. He walked on at New Mexico State, where he overcame a lifelong battle with dyslexia with the help of his wife Leatricia, and blossomed into a legitimate NFL prospect.
House developed in a star-studded cornerback room that included future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde during his first four seasons in Green Bay.
Injuries slowed House at the onset of his NFL career, including a shoulder subluxation during camp in 2012 that came at the exact moment he appeared to be pulling ahead in the battle to start opposite Williams at cornerback.
Although reps weren't always easy to come by, House steadily climbed the defensive depth chart. Standout performances against New England and Atlanta in 2014 earned him playing time and eventually a long-term contract with Jacksonville that ensured his family's financial security later that offseason.
"I started at the way bottom and had to work really, really hard to see playing time on defense," House said. "Once I got my playing time, I think it was taking advantage of it. The whole time I really played, it was grind mode. I was never really comfortable."
House spent two seasons with the Jaguars, setting a franchise record with 23 pass deflections in a single season (2015), before re-signing with the Packers in 2017.
Former Packers CB Davon House played six of his eight seasons in Green Bay.
Now a full-fledged starter and the oldest cornerback in the room, House felt a responsibility to uphold the standard Woodson and Williams had set. With that in mind, House made headlines in June 2017 when he hitched an overnight ride with Packers fans, Chad and Mike Johnson, in order to make it in time for OTA practice the following day.
After missing his connecting flight from Minneapolis to Green Bay due to weather, House tweeted out asking if any Packers fans in Minnesota cared to make the four-hour trek. The two brothers stepped up and got House to Green Bay by 4 a.m.
"There's only a handful of teams where I would catch a ride and I'd feel very, very comfortable and Green Bay is for sure No. 1 on that list," House said. "When I came to Green Bay, I didn't really know what to expect besides playing professional football. Everyone has always said the fans are the greatest fans ever. Getting here, I was like, 'Oh my goodness, I see why.'"
House started all 12 games he played in for Green Bay in 2017, recording 44 tackles and an interception. He re-signed for one more season, reuniting briefly with a returning Williams, before a shoulder injury ended his season after only three games.
House made a full recovery and contemplated playing in 2019 until undergoing an emergency appendectomy in early July. The Houston Texans called House in for a workout less than a month later. While House ran well during the tryout, he wasn't quite in football shape due to the surgery.
Once the regular season started, House mentally began to move on to the next phase of his life.
"I waited like another month and then decided," House said. "I never wanted to be a guy working out every day for four months and no one calls. Now, I'm just staying in shape to be in shape, no more football stuff."
As his football career wound down, House's true calling began to crystalize. Right after House went on IR, his 4-year-old twin sons, Isaiah and Titus, were diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
The Houses were living in Hawaii at the time but an eight-month waiting list to begin therapy led to the family moving back home to Austin, Texas.
"I really wish I would've found out they had autism when I was playing … I would've been able to be more vocal about it," House said. "It's been blessing to really get them diagnosed. Now, I know what I need to work on with them instead of not knowing what's going on."
House enjoys getting his kids ready for school each day and performing his typical dad responsibilities. Lavon, who turns six in May, is now playing football, as well. Coincidentally, his youth team happens to be the Packers.
House remains eternally grateful to former general manager Ted Thompson, current GM Brian Gutekunst, vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball and former position coach Joe Whitt for everything they've done for him and his family.
"Looking at it now, I wouldn't take it back," House said. "I'm glad I was drafted by Green Bay and glad I was drafted in the fourth round. There have been a lot of good fourth-round picks … and I'm so blessed to be a part of that group."