BLOOMINGTON – IU Assistant Coach Billy Lynch was at Carmel (Ind.) High School yesterday watching elite quarterback Morgan Newton and hoping he can somehow, some way lure the state's most coveted recruit to Bloomington.
Lynch made the trip to the north side of Indianapolis to simply watch the 6-5, 210-pound junior throw. He wasn't the only interested observer, as Notre Dame quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus also made the trip from South Bend to see Scout.com's seventh-ranked quarterback in the 2009 class.
This wasn't the first time Lynch has seen Newton workout, and it won't be the last. But Lynch is making every effort to out-duel a lengthy list of recruiting competitors for the talented quarterback who completed 124-of-213 passes for 1,900 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.
"Indiana is definitely still in the running," said Newton, who led Carmel H.S. to the 2007 state title. "IU is on the up and up."
Two of Indiana's selling point are location – it's only an hour away from his home – and the fact it was the first to offer a scholarship last spring. Since that time a whole host of others have offered, and Newton is quickly becoming one of the more coveted in-state recruits in recent memory.
Newton said he has 13 offers – Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Penn State, Kentucky, Louisville, Clemson, Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia and Cincinnati. He said it also appears that both Florida and Boston College appear close to offering, and he's just recently talked with coaches from both Alabama and Miami (Fla.) as well.
He's doing what he can to learn about many of his suitors. He recently completed a one-week swing through the southeast, making unofficial stops at Kentucky, Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia. He's returned home for the next several weeks so coaches can come see him during the current evaluation period, but he'll likely head back on the road for another wave of unofficials in the summer.
For the time being, he's leaving the door open to any and all who want to recruit him, and he'll begin to whittle his list later this summer.
"We'll probably narrow things down after this spring period when coaches can come out, and then we'll narrow it down again later," Newton said. "But I'm in no hurry."
So what's all the fuss about? Newton appears to have the combination of skills that all football coaches covet – great size, a big arm, and an abundance of athleticism. While he put up big numbers through the air as a junior, he added another 750 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, putting his 4.52 speed in the 40 to good use.
"Coaches seem to like my versatility," Newton said. "They also say I haven't peaked yet and have a lot of room to grow. I can do some good things now, but with more help I can do some other things. That's what they like."
Lynch has liked that for some time. He's had his eye on Newton since he was a freshman, and he's hoping he can repeat last year's recruiting performance with Darius Willis, when he fended of a slew of big-name programs and landed the star running back from Indianapolis' Franklin Central H.S.
"They pride themselves on being the first ones to discover me," Newton said of the Hoosiers. "They also talk about the guys they've been bringing in and how they're bringing in better guys and how they're building a new facility, and how overall the program is on the rise."
Newton has been able to see those things first hand, having made a handful of unofficial visits in the past to the campus and to games. He's also made a regular summer stop in town for IU's summer team camp, which has given him a chance to work with the Hoosier coaching staff.
"To see them go to a bowl game, it's a good thing because they're getting more wins and getting to bowl games, and the bowl games should get better and better from here hopefully," Newton said.
The IU staff undoubtedly thinks their efforts in that pursuit would be enhanced if Newton landed in Bloomington and was someday leading the offensive attack. But they'll likely have to wait a while before getting an answer about his future.
"I want to play the best football, SEC, ACC, Big Ten," Newton said. "I'm also looking at the coaches and coaching staff. Academic wise, I'm looking for a place I can get some work done and be on the right foot that way. Also, I want to find a place that will help me fit in and treat my family well. What my family thinks is important.
"Once we find that, the school that fits those standards the best, we'll make a decision."
IU Gets Another First-Hand Look at Newton
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