KU Junior Day: Peyton Newell

The recruiting event hosted Saturday by the University of Kansas may have been labeled 'Junior Day,' but that doesn't mean talent from other classes was unwelcome.

Take Peyton Newell, for instance. A 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end from Hiawatha (KS) High School, Newell is one of the most exciting prospects in the sophomore class not just in the state of Kansas, but regionally and - potentially - even nationally.

Newell was one of a small handful of Class of 2014 talents in attendance in Lawrence, Kan. this weekend, though it was far from his first visit to campus. He camped with the Jayhawks this summer, and has family ties to the university as well.

"All of my family background have gone to KU, and I grew up going to KU games," he said. "So KU is definitely in my heart."

During the visit, Newell said the change in attitude surrounding the football program is palpable since Charlie Weis has taken the helm.

"Last season they were 2-10 and no one wants to have a winning attitude with a 2-010 record," he said. "Yesterday, they were all about winning and how much the team is going to change and the program is going to change, an no nonsense. If you don't want to bring a strong attitude and work ethic every day, you're going to be kicked off the team."

Through his time at camp and the months that followed, Newell developed a relationship with defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt. After Wyatt was retained by Weis, it solidified one of the strongest links the big defensive line prospect maintains to the Jayhawks.

While in Lawrence, he since again got to spend time with Wyatt.

"He said he was definitely really pleased with how well my season went and how good my highlight tape was," Newell said.

Next on the docket for him are visits to Oklahoma State and Kansas State, and in the spring he expects to return to Lawrence to take in a practice.

"Me and Coach Wyatt talked about that," Newell said. "I'll definitely come to a spring practice for KU. I'll for sure go to KU and K-State."

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