|Trenton, NJ – 6'7", 295|
4*, NR overall
4*, #191 overall
#12 OT, #6 NJ
4*, #253 overall
#27 OT, #9 NJ
4*, #220 overall
#23 OT, #4 NJ
|Other Suitors||PSU, Bama, LSU, MSU, OSU, UGA, Ark, WI|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
Brady Hoke recruited a lot of offensive linemen, but had trouble finding tackles. Some of that was just bad luck—a few months after he acquired top 100 tackle Chris Fox his knee turned into jello. Some of it was a reliance on developing guys like Logan Tuley-Tillman. Hoke's player development was… let's say subpar.
As a result, Grant Newsome walks into a depth chart where he may already be on the two-deep, depending on where exactly Ben Braden and Erik Magnuson end up. That's because he is very much a tackle, and probably that rarest of man-mountain: the natural left tackle. After Newsome played in the Semper Fi game, Tim Sullivan tracked down his coach for an extensive article:
"First of all, you can't teach 6-7," Hansen said. "I think it's a frame that coach is going to be enthralled with. Knowing Coach Harbaugh like I do, I know that he likes big dudes who can move. His work ethic is great, his understanding of offensive concepts is great, he'll learn quickly.
"It's not that I was not expecting it, but I think his pass protection was something that was ahead of his run blocking at this stage of the game," Hansen said. "A lot of times, you get the opposite for a high school kid, where they're more comfortable run blocking. He was more versed in protection part of it."
247's Barton Simmons calls him a "future left tackle" with "outstanding" size, echoing the implication that he's got great feet but needs to work on pad level/leverage/run blocking. Colleague Steve Wiltfong had a similar take after seeing him at an Opening regional:
…could have easily won offensive line MVP honors and … Perhaps he still will. Has the ideal frame one wants in a left tackle, has nice length, he can bend, he keeps defensive linemen off him, not letting them get their hands on him.
And so it goes.
- Clint Brewster, 247: "Newsome is a long, athletic offensive tackle that has the body frame and range to play on the left side. … reminds me of current Michigan offensive lineman Logan Tuley-Tillman, who has a similar body type and playing style. Newsome does a great job in pass protection because of his long arms and quick feet. … could be more physical in the running game and but dominates at the high school level with his size and technique. Keeps his hands inside and has an excellent base- always staying in his hips and driving through."
- ESPN: "Displays good bend and flexibility in his stance. … his big, lengthy frame can present a detour for rushers. … doesn't consistently deliver a good initial pop and roll hips and can get stalemated. … Newsome has good size and ability to work with and develop. Little raw and inconsistent in areas and needs to continue to fill out."
- Adam Friedman, Rivals: "definitely lived up to the hype. He's a huge offensive lineman with great feet and excellent patience. It was also impressive to see how much of a leader he was. Even in warm-ups, he was talking to his players making sure they were ready. Overall strength is an issue for Newsome."
- Brian Dohn, Scout: "long and athletic, and he has a good initial punch. …doesa very good job of getting to the second level, and he also understands how to sit in pass protection and not reach."
There is not much dissension in the ranks here, though ESPN turns in another evaluation that doesn't seem to fit their ranking. Some previous recruits in this class had highly encouraging reports coupled with generic three-star rankings; in this case they give a four-star guy a tepid review with a lot of "flashes ability X."
The general impression is that Newsome is an ideal left tackle who doesn't seem likely to become the kind of donkey-hating asset in the run game that a Taylor Lewan or a Jake Long was.
One caveat: Dohn notes that Newsome attends an "exclusive boarding school," which in retrospect yeah, it's called "The Lawrenceville School," of course. This means he hasn't gone up against quality competition. Most of the defensive ends he's faced aspire to be C-blank-Os instead of face-mashing NFL players. That seems to have put a hard ceiling on his rankings since recruiting analysts don't have much, if any, opportunity to see him against top competition.
That's a negative, but it's one that helped Michigan retain a much-needed asset. Newsome never wavered despite everything. The boarding school plays into that. On top of his physical qualities, Newsome is also an excellent student, carrying a 3.65 GPA at a serious school. He has an unusual background for anyone other than that dude with a ponytail from Good Will Hunting:
Academics are huge to Newsome, who plans on majoring in history. Both of his parents, and one of his grandfathers, graduated from Princeton with degrees in history.
“I guess it’s something that just runs in the family,” the 6-foot-7, 295-pound Newsome said. “I’m really interested in the Civil War reconstruction period.
Newsome and Lloyd Carr are going to be best buds.
This is good for any player since it means they'll probably be coachable, stick around, and help out the APR; for OL it's even more important since OL is extraordinarily complicated. OL consistently score the highest on the NFL's wonderlic test. Newsome should be able to handle the mental aspect of the game, and relatively quickly.
The question here is whether Harbaugh can make him mean.
Etc.: Specifically asked for 77.
Why Adam Stenavich? Stenavich was not quite the level of prospect Lewan and Long were but he was a quality left tackle who was first team All Big Ten for two consecutive years and kicked around NFL practice squads for five years after he graduated. Stenavich was a high quality pass protector in college but only decent as a run blocker.
One important difference: Stenavich was only 6'4". Newsome has higher upside.
Guru Reliability: High-minus. High profile player with approximate rankings consensus. Did do a few camps, but not many.
Variance: Moderate-plus. Newsome's close to the correct size already, has no academic question marks, and has a definite spot he projects to. Still needs all of the OL stuff, and level of competition is in question.
Ceiling: High. Not elite since he doesn't seem to be the kind of mean, mashing run blocker that Long and Lewan were.
General Excitement Level: High-minus. Excellent package at a very important position, but is OL.
Projection: Is OL, redshirt.
After, Michigan doesn't need him right away unless injury strikes. He probably has another year as a backup waiting for him since Mason Cole isn't going anywhere and whoever locks down the right tackle job this year should maintain it. If that's Erik Magnuson—my current guess—then Newsome will be one of the prime candidates to replace him 2017.
Cole's job could also come open then if he's good enough to leave for the draft, but since he's not one of those 6'8" Lewan-shaped guys that's not particularly likely. So in 2018 a redshirt junior Newsome is probably going to be the top option at left tackle to replace a four-year starter.