Parkway North inside linebacker Ryan Newton thought about waiting to see how his recruiting unfolded before making a verbal commitment. But he couldn’t fight the feeling that he had found his fit.
That’s why he made a verbal commitment to Miami (Oh) on Saturday during an unofficial visit to the school.
“I thought about it, but once I was on campus and just really got the feel for it it felt right,” Newton said. “Making my decision, that was never really a factor. It was never I wanted to do it on this certain date or I want to wait until Signing Day or something. It was just whenever it felt right, it felt right. And that’s what happened on Saturday.”
Newton, a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder, is one of the top Class of 2017 prospects in the St. Louis area. He had also been offered scholarships by Illinois State, Tennessee Tech and Southeast Missouri State and attracted interest from schools like Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and others.
The linebacker felt like he couldn’t pass up the opportunity at Miami.
“With it being my second time up there I really got to get a good feel of what they were all about, besides what I got to experience at Junior Day,” Newton said. “I got to spend time with all of the coaches — it wasn’t just the linebacker coach and the head coach, Coach (Chuck) Martin. I got to spend time with all of the coaches and I’ve built a relationship with a lot of them. And I got to spend time with the players and go out with them and see campus and get the whole academic side of it. It’s just an opportunity that me and my family felt that we couldn’t pass up.”
Newton was recruited by the RedHawks to play middle linebacker.
“They’ve said that I’m going to have the opportunity to come in and have an impact early,” he said. “Whether I come in as a true freshman or whether I’d redshirt, I will have the opportunity to help take them back to being competitive and potentially winning the MAC championship.”
With his decision out of the way, Newton can now focus on his final season at Parkway North. The Vikings, who also have D-1 prospects in defensive lineman Michael Thompson and kicker-punter Jack Faron, went 7-4 in 2015.
“It feels good,” Newton said. “Miami just feels like home. I just loved being in Oxford and I loved the coaches. The recruiting process, it’s something different. It’s just a weird process. You really get to know that there’s a lot of good people out there that care about you and have the best interest for you, but at the end of the day it’s a business. It’s a strange process.”