One of the nation's top high school quarterbacks, Morgan Newton of Carmel, Ind., has definite interest in the University of Kentucky.
He stopped at UK for an unofficial visit this week on his way to an AAU basketball tournament in Virginia.
"I liked it. We figured it was an easy way to stop since we were on our way to Virginia any way," said the 6-5, 215-pound Newton, who had his family with him on his stop in Lexington.
Newton completed 124 of 213 passes for 1,900 yards and 25 touchdowns last year and also ran for 750 yards and 11 scores on 132 carries.
"I definitely like to throw, but I like to run, too. Throwing is usually the first priority, but to play great teams you also need people that can get out and run with it. I have proven that I can do that in high school and I think I can continue doing it at the collegiate level," Newton said.
Others obviously agree. He's rated among the top 10 prep quarterbacks by Scout.com. He has scholarship offers from schools such as South Carolina, Penn State, Indiana, Notre Dame, Ohio State, LSU and Michigan as well as Kentucky.
But he insists his interest in Kentucky is genuine.
"It's the one school in the SEC that is close to Indiana," Newton said. "The coaching staff has great people, especially (offensive coordinator) Joker Phillips and coach (Rich) Brooks. They have been better (as a team) of late. I got to watch some games last year and like the way the program is going."
He also says the success quarterback Andre Woodson had and his joining former UK quarterbacks Jared Lorenzen and Shane Boyd in the NFL next season has impressed him.
"Woodson's success caught my eye. Anytime you see a school produce success and get guys to the NFL it definitely does catch your eye," Newton, who runs a 4.52 40-yard dash, said.
"There is definite interest in Kentucky on my part. Kentucky is close to home, the have good people there, they have had success and I liked the players. It is definitely a place I want to consider."
He says nothing about his visit to UK really surprised him.
"But with the players, you could see they had a genuine feeling for the program. I also got to see the dorm rooms, and they were nice. But the big thing is that the players were completely honest in discussing the program. It was a good thing to talk to them like I did," Newton said.
Academics won't be a problem for him, either. His father is a school principal with a Ph.D. in education.
"You have no choice but to be a good student with him around," Newton said. "Academics are very important in our family. That's why the education aspect of the school will play a role in where I go to college."
One of the top QB's in the nation visits UK
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