September 5, 2008

QB Newsome blowing up

Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy quarterback Kevin Newsome has been through many changes recently. Not only did he leave the cozy confines of his old high school to head to the world of military school, but he de-committed from Michigan in mid August. Now the 6-foot-3, 217-pounder is a hot commodity on and off the field once again.

"Kevin is blowing up," said Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty. "There have been so many schools calling and visiting it's crazy. At least 20 different programs have inquired about him in the last few days and everybody who wants a quarterback is interested."

Prunty named some of the schools coming after Newsome the hardest.

"UCLA, North Carolina, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Penn State, Oregon, Vanderbilt and I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting," he said. "Some have visited, others have called and said they will be coming and all of them want him to visit their school. Right now Kevin is just taking it all in, but he'll get out to see some schools to find the right fit for him."

There has been talk that some of the schools recruiting Newsome are recruiting him as an athlete. However, Prunty puts that rumor to rest quickly.

"Kevin is a quarterback and all these schools want him as a quarterback," said Prunty, who has coached his share of top talent over the years at Hargrave. "I kept hearing he was an athlete before he got here but I always knew the light would go on and he'd be a great quarterback and he's come so far so quickly. He's a true quarterback and he's going to be a great quarterback in college.

"He's like Terrelle Pryor in a way when I coached him at the U.S. Army Game. When you get him, he needs to work on his mechanics and his throwing motion and all of that but he's a special player and you know he's going to be a special quarterback. It amazes me that just because Kevin runs track and he's athletic that people want to label him an athlete."

Newsome struggled a bit at the NIKE Camp and Elite 11 tryout in State College, Pa. this spring and at the Elite 11 tryout in Las Vegas in late June. He was much better at the Top Gun Showcase in July in Florida and Prunty says he's improved by leaps and bounds since arriving at Hargrave.

"He's been so impressive. Kevin was running track when all those other quarterbacks were going to camps and throwing the ball. If he was doing the same thing he would have showed a lot more," said Prunty. "I've had a lot of good quarterbacks and coached Pryor, MarQueis Gray and Star Jackson at the Army Game last year so I know a quarterback when I see one and Kevin is going to be a big-time quarterback."

Newsome already showed off his ability in Hargrave's season opener, a 32-4 rout of the Navy JV team. In the win, Newsome completed 13 of 18 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown and ran for 68 yards on the ground despite rainy conditions.

"He was very efficient and just looked like a college quarterback already out there," Prunty said. "And you have to remember that he's playing against kids that are much older than high school kids. He's playing against men out there and standing out. His stock is only going to rise and I expect more and more schools to start coming after him after we send out some early film."

Newsome is ranked as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and is No. 129 in the Rivals250. When asked about any favorites, Prunty said his star signal-caller is open.

"Like I said, he's just taking it all in right now and focusing on football," he said. "He'll have his choice when the time comes and someone will get very lucky to have him."







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