Michigan was quite busy in the Garden State last week. The primary objective was dropping in on star 2013 commit Jabrill Peppers, but it certainly wasn’t their only one. The Wolverine brass also checked in on a number of other targets, including 2015 Lawrenceville Prep OT Grant Newsome. Their presence at the talented youngster’s school reinforced the strong interest they’ve been showing over the phone for months.
“(Coach Funk) seems like a very good guy and obviously a very good coach,” said Newsome. ”I think Michigan is a great program, so I definitely have a lot of interest in the school. I’ve obviously seen them on national television almost every game and I know how much success they’ve had as a program. I definitely had interest in Michigan even before Coach Funk was able to make it out. It’s a great school with a lot of tradition in the football program, so I think it’s a very appealing opportunity.”
Michigan hasn’t yet added its name to an offer list that already consists of 13 programs, but the Garden State star believes that it’s only a matter of time before they do.
“(Funk) said that they’re very interested in me and that they just want to get to know me a little more and we’ll see where it goes from there,” Newsome stated. “He said that they would love to have me out whenever I’m available to come to Ann Arbor.”
That opportunity could well come during the spring or summer. To date Newsome has already visited Stanford, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, and Rutgers. He has also has begun developing an early leaderboard.
“It’s still pretty early, but I think obviously some schools like Northwestern, North Carolina, Penn State… some of the bigger schools are obviously sticking out,” admitted Newsome. “But I’m still very open in the whole process.”
That’s a door that a number of other high major programs will walk through in the coming months. On paper coaches can see that Newsome already has the size that they covet. When they pop in his film they see that he also has the athleticism.
“My season went pretty well,” said Newsome. “I was happy with my performance. I would definitely say I’m athletic. What I like to pride myself on is being one of the most athletic tackles out there. I would say I have athleticism, flexibility, bend, and then probably explosiveness. When I talk to the Rutgers staff they like to compare me to Anthony Davis a lot. They see a lot of similarities between him and me.”
A program that will further develop his skill set is an obvious criterion. There are a number of others, though, that will receive equal consideration.
“I think definitely a school where I feel comfortable, not only as a football player, but also as a person and student athlete. (It will come down to) probably just feeling… a connection with the coaching staff with the school and with the program. I’ve just going to pick the place where I go ‘I want to call this home for the next four or five years.’ I think if it’s the right school distance isn’t a factor.”
“I think I probably want to have (a commitment) out of the way by my senior year. Hopefully I’ll be able to sit down with my parents and my coaching staff and figure out where I want to go before my senior season. But if something happens or if I still need more time, then I think I could possibly wait. But I would like the have the whole process done by my senior season.”