PRP's Brandon Newman enjoys Sunday visit

A 2nd Team All-State selection as a junior at Louisville's Pleasure Ridge Park, Brandon Newman has quickly become one of the hottest prospects in the Bluegrass State. The 6'1 305 pound defensive lineman spoke with about his Sunday visit to see Steve Kragthorpe's Cardinals...

Possessing amazing strength and speed for his size, Pleasure Ridge Park's Brandon Newman is quickly becoming a prospect that is attracting nationwide interest. Cincinnati, Kentucky, Notre Dame and Stanford have already extended scholarship offers to Newman, who bench presses 350 pounds and squats 600, while also possessing sub 5.0 speed.

"Right now I'm 6'1 and 305 pounds, but I'm trying to get down to 285 or 290 by the start of my senior year," said Newman. "I know that I need to do it and I'm always trying to get better and improve."

Newman has continually improved throughout his high school career, both on and off the field. A 2nd Team All-State selection as a junior, Newman also carries a 3.9 GPA. Last fall, playing the nose tackle position in the 3-4 defense, Newman totaled 68 tackles, with 22 for loss. He also forced four fumbles and blocked a punt.

"It's a big honor," Newman said of the multiple early scholarship offers. "It's good to have multiple options, plus it makes you want to work even harder because there are plenty of others that would like to be your shoes."

Alabama, Louisville, Miami, Michigan and Mississippi are among the others that have expressed a heavy interest in Newman.

On Sunday, Newman made an unofficial visit with Louisville, watching the Cardinals practice in full pads for the first time this spring from the comfort of the sidelines inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. It didn't take long for word of Newman's presence to make it's way to U of L head coach Steve Kragthorpe who welcomed one of the state's top prospects with a quick hug and a brief conversation, which included an inquiry about his current weight.

"They are encouraging me to bring my weight down," said Newman. "I like that."

Newman spent the majority of Sunday's practice watching the Mark Nelson coached defensive line, both in drills and during the simulated scrimmage.

"I like how they do things," he said. "I like how the defensive line looks and that everything is up-tempo and that there is a lot of energy. It's good to see how competitive they all are with each other too."

In addition to his visit to Louisville, Newman has visited Kentucky and has plans to travel to a few others during the coming weeks and months.

"I'm going up to visit Notre Dame on April 11th," said Newman, who admits that he's intrigued by the idea of being apart of the 3-4 defense being installed in South Bend this spring. "They have talked about me being the nose tackle in their 3-4 defense and I get hand written letters from Charlie Weiss, so I want to go up there and find out more about it."

"I'm also thinking of going down to Ole Miss and Alabama for a visit," he continued. "I do plan on going to both U of L's and UK's spring games too."

While Louisville has yet to extend a scholarship to Newman, the Cardinals coaching staff definitely made him feel welcome on Sunday. In addition to his brief conversation with Kragthorpe, Newman spent time visiting with a few members of the Cardinals coaching staff following practice.

"I met with Coach Greg Nord and he took me around to meet with some of the coaches," said Newman. "I've talked to Coach Nord before as well, plus Coach Kragthorpe has sent me a few text messages."

As for a possible leader this early in the recruiting process?

"Not right now," he said. "My big thing is, like I tell my family, I just want to find the place that I'm comfortable with, that's why I want to take some visits."

PRP recently wrapped up it's spring practice schedule and Newman believes the Panthers have a chance to improve on last season's 7-4 mark in the always difficult Region Two.

"It was all about seeing what the new guys can do and there are some pretty good ones," said Newman. "I think we could a little better this year then we were last year."

The Panthers only losses of the 2006 season were to annual state title contenders St. X, DuPont Manual and twice to Male.

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