Hello: Grant Newsome Comment Count

Ace June 11th, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Newsome at Michigan (via 247) and on the field (Rivals)

Lawrenceville (NJ) Prep OT Grant Newsome announced his commitment to Michigan this morning via a very heartfelt note he posted on Twitter [click for full size]:

Newsome, who chose U-M over Penn State after recent return visits to both schools, is the seventh commit in the 2015 class, joining Jon Runyan Jr. among offensive linemen.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #20 OT,
#215 Ovr
4*, #21 OT,
#199 Ovr
4*, 81, #25 OT,
#235 Ovr
4*, 92, #22 OT,
#192 Ovr
4*, #19 OT,
#198 Ovr

Newsome is rated with remarkable consistency by scouts, to the point that he's ranked higher among offensive tackles on the 247 Composite than any of the four recruiting services. I don't think I've seen that for any player, let alone one who's yet to play his senior season.

There's almost universal agreement about his size, as well. He's listed at 6'7 everywhere but 247 (6'6"), and everybody but Rivals (280 lbs.) pegs his weight at 290. There's little question where Newsome fits on an offensive line—that's prototype tackle size.


Newsome made his first major mark on the recruiting scene after his sophomore year, when he picked up an offer from Penn State shortly after standing out in their summer camp ($). Unfortunately, no scouting report at that link, but pulling in an offer from a strong recruiting Penn State program that showed major interest in him through two coaching regimes is a pretty good sign.

Scout's free eval likes his mobility and notes he needs some work on technique, which will be two running themes throughout this post:

Newsome is athletic, strong in pass protection and can get to the second level quickly in the running game. He is good drive blocking and does a nice job in pass protection. He has good length and is able to protect the edge, but does need to refine his technique. Newsome also gets to the second level quickly. -- Brian Dohn

He gets to the second level so quickly it needs to be noted twice in a four-sentence span, apparently. Getting another look at U-M's latest commit, Dohn ranked Newsome's performance third among offensive linemen, one spot ahead of Runyan, in a strong field at the New Jersey NFTC ($):

3. Grant Newsome, 6-6, 290, The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School
Newsome had the unenviable task of being a left tackle in a 1-on-1 competition, which is slanted greatly toward defensive ends. His kickstep was good, he did a good job of not reaching and he used his length to tie up and frustrated defensive ends. Newsome also showed a good initial punch, and his lateral slide and footwork was also solid.

It appears Newsome's already improving on some of the technical aspects. While he came up short of position MVP honors and an automatic spot in The Opening, 247's Steve Wiltfong thought his performance could've merited an invite to Nike's elite camp:

Mclean (Va.) Lawrenceville School Top247 offensive tackle Grant Newsome could have easily won offensive line MVP honors and been invited to The Opening as well. 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.

ESPN's junior eval is just a condensed version of their longer one, so I'll reprint it here; it reflects the general consensus that Newsome has the ideal size and potential to be a great left tackle, but needs to add strength and technique—like most every offensive lineman coming out of high school—to put it all together ($):

STRENGTHS: Is very tall with a lean blend that looks to be capable of supporting additional bulk. Can move adequately in space for a guy his size with the ability to pull and block what is directly in front of him. Flashes the ability to get set quickly in pass to slide feet and mirror. ... AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Needs to continue to develop functional strength. Does not always roll hips and explode through contact. Can deliver a punch and jolt defender when given the angle but first step is not consistently on proper angle. Hand placement will need to improve as an edge protector. ... BOTTOM LINE: Newsome has the frame and athletic ability to develop but is still a bit raw at this stage. His size and athleticism will garner interest from some bigger schools down the road.

NJ.com placed Newsome second in their state rankings—ahead of Penn State's trio of highly touted New Jersey commits and 2016 five-star Rashan Gary—published this February after he earned first-team all-state honors:

Attributes: Newsome is as good an athlete as you will find playing offensive tackle. He possesses terrific feet and initial quickness. His lateral agility, anticipation and overall athleticism project him to left tackle in college. He displays good willingness in the run game and the potential to become a standout BCS offensive lineman.

Recruit capsule: Grant Newsome

• Frame - 10
• Pass Blocking - 9
• Run Blocking - 8
• Awareness - 7
• Upside - 10

Only consensus five-star corner Minkah Fitzpatrick ranks in front of Newsome; the locals really like his game. That article also featured the requisite glowing review from his coach:

"He's a very unique player in the sense that he combines anything that anybody who coaches college football would want in a young man. He is smart, articulate, tall, long and athletic. He's got a great sense of the game, a great work ethic and he's smart on the field and in the class room. And he's a gentleman. And I know that's a lot of superlatives, but he's doing a fantastic job all-around and we are lucky to have him." – Lawrenceville head coach Danny O'Dea

The above and the note Newsome posted upon committing probably covered any concerns about fitting The Pattern™. Just in case they didn't, it's worth noting Newsome heavily emphasized academics throughout his recruitment, taking looks at the likes of Cal, Duke, and Northwestern, and going into exacting detail on how Michigan's combination of excellent academics and support made a major impression after his most recent visit ($):

Newsome, who is looking to major in Civil War history   [ed-Ace: my man]  , said the academic tour, and specifically the M-PACT program and its director Shari Acho were a major plus for the Wolverines.

"It's definitely something I would say will factor into my decision," he said. "Michigan's academic support system is really unique for their athletes and it's something my mom and I were both really, really impressed with. They gave me a clear cut idea of the types of classes I would be taking and what the life and schedule is like for a student athlete. Michigan's APR and graduation rates were something I had heard about, but it's not something I'm concerned about at all. I know I am capable of succeeding anywhere I go, and for me the support system stood out so much, I know I will have more than enough resources to be successful in school if I decide to choose Michigan." 

It appears at least one negative recruiter didn't get the updated APR scores.*

Michigan is getting a lineman who fits the left tackle mold to a T, has excellent athleticism for his size, displays no off-field warning signs, and needs to add strength and technique to get to where he needs to be. Given U-M's recent offensive line classes, he should be afforded time to develop, and after that the potential is very high.

[*Honestly, negative recruiting doesn't really get a rise out of me—it happens everywhere in some form or another—but at least get the facts right.]


In addition to Michigan, Newsome earned offers from Alabama, Cal, Duke, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami (YTM), Michigan State, North Carolina, NC State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others. A decent list, I guess.


Lawrenceville Prep went 5-3 last season, and while the Rivals search function is still not working for me, they've got an alumni page that gives you a solid idea what level of program they are—the vast majority of their graduates who play college football do so at Ivy League schools or the like.


Offensive lineman, no stats.


No 40 time is readily available, but, you know, offensive lineman. The quick feet, as described by seemingly every scout, are what matter here.


Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights are available on his Hudl page.


He'll be a tackle.

Okay, that's both obvious and uninformative. Newsome should be able to take a redshirt year; when he gets to campus, Erik Magnuson and Ben Braden will be redshirt juniors, Chris Fox and Logan Tuley-Tillman redshirt sophomores, and Juwann Bushell-Beatty should be a redshirt freshman. Early enrollee Mason Cole and David Dawson, who's in the same class as Fox and LTT, may also be in the mix at tackle, though at least one of those two should eventually slide inside.

Newsome most likely will get a multi-year apprenticeship while he's refining his technique and hulking out, then he'll get his shot at earning a starting job.


Michigan has the offensive tackle they needed, and while they could add another lineman—probably a good idea for class balance if they have the room—they're in a position to take the two they've got and focus on other positions given the depth along the line in the last few classes.

With Ty Isaac's transfer taking up a scholarship, we're projecting 15 or so players in the class with normal attrition, though that number could certainly grow. That leaves eight spots remaining for U-M to add a running back, a wide receiver or two, a tight end (a spot they could fill soon with Chris Clark), a defensive end or two, an outside linebacker or two, and perhaps another defensive back to fill Shaun Crawford's vacated spot. Add all those needs up and you get to nine players—space is limited, something that Michigan has used to their advantage on the recruiting trail in the past.



June 11th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

I credit the staff for continuing to recruit pretty well despite the negative recruiting and lack of on field momentum. Now we just need a top notch DE, TE, WR and RB to round out the class

Mr. Yost

June 11th, 2014 at 10:06 PM ^

We were getting too many OT/OG types, and you need those, but you also need a few PURE OTs and that's what we have here.

HUGE pickup, no pun intended.

I think Runyan fits best at C (size wise and his smarts). We've got enough goes that can play guard. I'd love to go get another OT.

OT-C-OT in this class and that's very solid when you consider what we already have.


June 11th, 2014 at 11:10 AM ^

Numbers getting tight. 7 commits now.

If you count G Glasgow and Kerridge both as scholarship players (which is logical since they both started and received scholarships last year), then there are only 3 spots left. If you count them as walkons, then 5 left.

Obviously there will be attrition so can take more..but that is unpredictable so it shows how numbers are really getting tight.


June 11th, 2014 at 1:34 PM ^

that you mentioned is that Sam Webb said today on the recruiting roundup that Damien Harris, Jashon Cornell and Justin Hilliard are talking about playing together and being a package deal. That may make it tight to fit them all in. From what Sam said, Michigan is cooling on Cornell because he is moving towards an interior position size wise and that's not a position they are looking for. They may take him as part of the package however.

It may be part of why most of the predicition for these three are trending towards OSU and they certainly have the room. It may also be why they are putting on a major push for Weber and Jacques Patrick.

He also mentioned that there is another player that's not happy with Meyer and may be looking to transfer from OSU. He said he won't say who because they could change their mind.

Space Coyote

June 11th, 2014 at 11:10 AM ^

Newsome is a very high ceiling recruit, one that could potentially fit in well at OT. He has great length and a great body to add a bunch of strength as well. Moves his feet pretty well in space, can show glimpses of being light on his feet when needed, and does a great job driving through the play and finishing plays strong.

So you see with that the very high ceiling he has. But he is a high variance pick up, a guy that is extremely raw right now, both in terms of technique and leg strength. He kind of has chicken legs right now. His footwork on his pass pro, his kick slide isn't developed, he gets too wide in the base and too high in his stance and loses leverage and balance too often; he allows defenders to get inside on him too easily; he struggles with proper hand placement. In the run game, his feet tend to be a bit too choppy, he doesn't get a lot of surface area on the ground, basically meaning he runs like an athlete instead of like an OL should. So he's very raw right now.

The thing is, lots of high school OL are raw, really raw. He's toward the unpolished end of that spectrum, and he probably isn't helped because he is so physically dominating over his counterparts, but he will take time to develop. That's alright, because Michigan has a boat load of numbers in front of him and he should be able to wait until he's an upperclassman before having to see the field, unless he develops really rapidly (it's great to be able to say something like that).

But with all that said, what you're looking for in a recruit is projecting him to the next level. If he maximizes his potential, he could be a very good OT, as he has the physical tools both in potential build, length, and athleticism. High ceiling playing with a lot of room to grow, but I think a good pick up given the circumstances of Michigan's roster. A true OT with a great potential.


June 11th, 2014 at 1:12 PM ^

I would wager a big box of money that not just "lots," but the vast majority of HS OL are raw, by the collegiate-level standards that you and others use.

It's like noting that a HS recruit "needs to improve strength and gain weight."

Good summation of how Newsome fits in development-wise.


June 11th, 2014 at 11:10 AM ^

Sounds like a very mature, intelligent and grounded young man - not to mention an excellent football player.   I look forward to his days at Michigan.  Welcome aboard!


June 11th, 2014 at 11:21 AM ^

Where do we go from here with 2015 offensive line recruits? We know this class will be limited, but getting 3 lineman this cycle seems to be what will happen. I hope anyways. Where do we go though, another tackle? guard? My real question is about the Center position.. who is in line to play, shouldn't we be recruiting another center either this class or next? It seems to me that jack miller's career is near over leaving only Glasgow and Kugler. What are other people's thoughts on this?

Space Coyote

June 11th, 2014 at 11:31 AM ^

You can recruit guys that are high school centers, that will only play that position, but you can also recruit interior OL that are smart and get them snapping right away and be more versatile along the line. Michigan has a few guys that could potentially do that. Think Newsome gives them their project LT. Runyan could fit anywhere from LT to OC depending on how he grows and develops, so he's a wild card. I'd like them to look at getting a true, thick, squatty OG to get a third man in the class, but that's just my preference.

When you add this to the last class, you have a guy like Cole who could develop into a LT and stick there, or could slide back inside, even down to OC. JBB is probably a RT but could potentially slide inside if his height doesn't hurt him too much there. And the class before that has a pretty nice combo of interior guys (Dawson, Fox, Kugler, Samuelson) with a project OT in LTT. And some of those interior guys could pop outside in a pinch as well.

So the staff has done a pretty nice job of gettting a nice mix of players. I'd like another like the interior guys I listed from the '13 group to add to this class to finish off OL recruiting. With only two in last class, I also think a third should be something they do (even with the numbers crunch, my preference would be four in this class after two last class, but I don't think that's happening).


June 11th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

Yes, I love how our staff has recruited the offensive line as well. I just hate that we don't really know who all practices the center position. We almost always know the Tackle/Guard situations,  but never really the centers. Unless one of the coaches comes outright and says it.


What about the 2016 offensive line class? If we take 3 this class will we take 3 in the 16' class as well? That will be interesting to know, seeing how that would probably give us 15+ o-lineman on the roster. We already have Swenson and are looking good for Lukuska (pardon my spelling).

Space Coyote

June 11th, 2014 at 11:51 AM ^

Miller, Glasgow, and Kugler will all get snaps at the OC position and work with the QBs, even if they get reps elsewhere (Glasgow at RT, Kugler at OG). Cole has snapped in the past, as has Dawson, if they need to work back at Center they can. Again, you can recruit guys specifically for the center position (Molk, Miller are both strictly OCs), but Hoke's staff seems to want a bit more ability to move players into different position to get the best 5 on the line. Neither is necessarily a better approach, just preference, and I think Michigan is fine in that regard.

As for '16, like I said, I always prefer to have at least 6 every two cycles. So if Michigan gets three in '15, they should get at least 3 in '16. That puts quite a bit of numbers because they took 10 in two classes when Hoke arrived, but some of those may leave as they get passed or don't start seeing the field, just because there are so many bodies (no speculation on to who may leave). My guess would be 4 in '16, without looking too closely at it.


June 11th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

Finally a recruit who announced his commitment the right way. I'm sick of the pick a hat/press conference hoopla. A press release/twitter is sufficient. Sounds like a great kid. Go Blue!


June 11th, 2014 at 1:09 PM ^

That really doesn't happen very often. You probably see more of it when it gets to January or February, but most guys who commit at this time of the year just announce it on Twitter or send text messages to the recruiting sites.

UofM Die Hard …

June 11th, 2014 at 11:54 AM ^

Makes me even happier we landed him, not only is he a top tier OL recruit, seems like a top tier youngman with a good head on his shoulders.

Welcome to the fam Grant



The cupboards are getting very full with top level talent, time to see these great youngmen turn into a dominant football players. 


June 11th, 2014 at 12:04 PM ^

I didn't even read beyond his statement.  Maturity doesn't even begin to describe how he comes across.  Class act!  As a mom, still in the midst of trying to raise intellegent, responsible humans, his parents must be beyond proud.  Role model, indeed.

Love that this kind of kid is coming here! 

Welcome Mr. Newsome!  Go Blue!


June 11th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

Looks like the sky isn't falling.  Current class (based on average ranking) is top 10 in all services (#6 on Scout) with plenty of high profiles slots to still fill.


June 11th, 2014 at 12:27 PM ^

That's including our kicker, Andrew David. His ranking of 75.00, even being the composite #4 kicker, drags our average rating down a bit. Remove him and Michigan's average composite rating is #5 at 90.63, only behind Alabama, Texas A&M, USC, and UCLA.

Yes, I'd agree we're doing just fine.


June 11th, 2014 at 7:16 PM ^

Sam Webb has been talking about this recently. Not only is Urban not burning up the recruiting trails (right now), but several of his own recruits have left already, and Sam said yesterday that he's hearing rumors of yet another departure from the OSU program of a Meyer recruit. I don't think the guys who have left are centerpieces of their program, but as we know all too well around here, depth is important.

Sam talks to recruits all the time, and not just kids who are likely UM commits—he's talking to kids all over the midwest, and what he says is that recruits and their parents typically have just two reactions to Meyer—there's no middle ground. Either they totally love him and buy everything he's saying, or they are completely turned off by what they see as a slick, used-car salesman kind of pitch.

Needless to say, the latter group seems to respond very favorably to Hoke's genuine personality and complete lack of oily guile.