Istrouma QB among state's best

The 2004 recruiting class is going to be a good one for quarterbacks in Louisiana. Evangel's John David Booty has already committed to USC, and St. Martinville's all-purpose threat Early Doucet is getting offers from all of his top schools.<br><br>Another name to follow is Alfred Newman of Baton Rouge-Istrouma, one of the state's best all-around athletes.

As a junior, Newman (6-3, 200) completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,253 yards and 23 touchdowns with only five interceptions. While most consider him a dropback passer, he also showed that he has some pretty good wheels with 489 yards on the ground and an additional five scores.

The accolades did not stop there for Newman, who garnered first team all-state honors as a punter with an average of 40.1 yards per kick.

"Alfred is able to read defenses better than most high school quarterbacks and he has a very strong arm," said Istrouma head coach Troy Jones. "He can throw it about 70 yards on a rope. He's a pocket passer. He's a big strong kid with a rifle for an arm."

Istrouma is not known for being a passing team, but since Jones took over the program he has tried to implement an offense with multiple looks and many different formations. With Newman under center, the transition has gone smoother than expected.

"We did not pass a whole lot last year. But when we had to, Alfred was effective," Jones told Tiger Rag. "We used a lot of formations in our offense and Alfred just picked it all up. We run an offense similar to Florida State's when Charlie Ward was there. (Newman's) definitely a top prospect for next year."

Newman was one of many of Louisiana's top prospects that attended LSU's Junior Day and he left very impressed with everything he witnessed.

"He was sold," Jones said. "From what the coaches were talking about and everything he has heard, he is leaning to LSU. He sat down with Jimbo Fisher (LSU offensive coordinator) and they had a chance to talk for a while. Jimbo indicated that he is one of their top quarterbacks they are recruiting. I know Alfred is sold on what they are doing over there."

Other schools that have contacted Jones recently are Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Purdue, Florida, Florida State, Auburn and UCLA, but the Bayou Bengals seem to be the team to beat.

Sonny's View: Newman has a 2.8 grade point average and made a 15 on his first ACT test, and Jones said he will not have any problems being a full academic qualifier. This kid possesses the size and skills to excel at the collegiate level and will be one of the top passing quarterbacks in the South for 2004.

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