Army's Newson ready to make an impact

West Point - Freshman cornerback Darren Newson wants to be the man this fall, in fact, he hopes to lead Army's defense for the next three years. Sounds like another cocky defensive back, cut straight out of the Deion Sanders mold, right?

Actually, that's not the case at all. Newson is a humble kid proud of what he's earned in one year at West Point, and only hopes to help the program more this fall.

"I'm hoping to end up being that guy at corner they look to stop the wide receiver in big spots," says Newson, a freshman.

He and junior Sean Grevious are the frontrunners to land the starting cornerback jobs left open by Dhyan Tarver and Ray Stith. Stith and Tarver graduate from the Academy next month.

Newson entered last season as one of four players competing for the Black Knights' nickel back position. He figured to be a longshot. But he continued to impress Army coach Bobby Ross with his athleticism.

Newson won the job and played well in 10 games for the Black Knights. He registered 16 tackles and an interception.

"Darren has good instincts and I like his coverage ability," Army coach Bobby Ross says. "You normally don't think a freshman can play that position, but that wasn't the case with him. I think he can be a standout, but he's not there yet."

Newson knows that and his humble upbringing helps him remain level-headed. He was raised by a single mother, Brenda Davis, and moved often from state to state.

"All the confidence I have, I get from my mom," Newson says."When times were tough she always told me things would be OK. She always had a plan."

After moving from Cleveland as a sophomore, Newson landed in Flower Mound, Texas.

Flower Mound High School coach Cody Vanderford inserted him at wide receiver, but soon realized he would make a good cornerback. Newson starred for two seasons at corner for Flower Mound. Vanderford provides more insight on Newson's humility: "I've had a lot of players not as good as Darren who talked a lot. But Darren never talked. He's a humble kid and the best cornerback we've had here (in the school's seven-year history)."

From Flower Mound, Newson went to the United States Military Academy Prep School in Fort Monmouth, N.J. That's where he began hatching his plan to win the nickel back job. Army will rely on him a lot more this season.

So the question will remain until the fall arrives: Can Newson handle the heat at the corner?

He certainly thinks so.

"I'm looking forward to this year and I think the team will be able to count on me," Newson says.


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