"Yeah, I think my head coach was the one who told me about that, I think he said you guys had me ranked as the seventh best middle linebacker in the country," said Newsom. "It's nice to know that some people think I'm a good player, but that really won't get me anywhere. I'll just keep putting in the extra work and hope it pays off."
Many college programs have also become aware of his exploits on the gridiron, and have already made verbal offers in hopes of landing the star linebacker from Parkway West high school.
"Right now I have offers from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Indiana, Kansas State and Illinois. I've had the verbal (offer) from Missouri since last year, the others were in the last few months. I get a lot of mail from Arkansas and Kansas too They could be next."
Why all these early offers? Talk about your abilities, what are some of the skills you bring to the field?
"Most of the college coaches said they like my size (6-2,228) and the way I can move. I have really good vision on the field and I can move really fast from side-to-side. I just get to the ball real quick I like contact too."
Do you see yourself playing at one of the outside spots in college, or are you more of an inside backer?
"I play all three linebacker spots in high school, but mostly middle. Most of the college coaches have said they like me at the SAM (strong-side) or middle. It doesn't really matter to me, but I do like the SAM spot a lot."
Donavin then went on to talk about the offer from Nebraska, and when the contact from the Huskers first started.
"My coach told me they (NU) offered awhile back and they had been sending me stuff for awhile. But I just started recently talking to Coach Garrison. I know I also saw one of their coaches at my school like last week. We couldn't really speak other than say ‘Hi.' He was there to talk to my coach though.
"But I had already called and talked to coach Garrison before that."
What was his message to you?
"He just said that most of the coaches up there at Nebraska watched my highlight tape and that they were very impressed with it. He said he wants me to come down there and get a look at the campus and meet some of the people in the program."
Do you know much about the Nebraska program yet?
"I've seen them play on television a lot. I love the aggressiveness they play with on defense and stuff like that. Their defense almost plays as one, like everybody knows what each other is doing out there.
"When I watch them play, I like the way they use their linebackers to make plays. It's like the d-line eats up blocks so the linebackers can make the tackle."
Donavin admits there is a ton local pressure to stay home and play for the Tigers, his childhood favorite. But he also plans to approach this decision like an adult and make the best choice for his future.
"I grew up here so everybody kind of thinks you should go to Missouri. I basically always pulled for Missouri because I grew up here. But I can't make my decision off that There are other things I have to look at too. This will probably be one of the biggest decisions of my life."
Do you have any unofficial visit plans for the summer?
"I'd like to get out and see some of the schools close enough to drive to, but I don't know yet. I live with my grandparents, so I'll have to check with them first.
"I've already visited Missouri for a junior day when they had a basketball game. I want to visit Iowa and Nebraska this summer."
What if that visit to Lincoln this summer doesn't come to fruition, could you still get over there some time in the fall?
"I want to get there bad and see things. I'm going to try to come by there after the visit to Iowa (this summer). If not, I'll make it one of my official visits. I get to Nebraska for sure at some point."
And don't look for an early commitment. Donavin has something specific he wants to see from each school before pulling the trigger.
"I want to narrow my list after the summer then really get into making a decision during the football season. I've never been to a college football game before. I think I need to see these schools on game day before I make a commitment, see what the atmosphere is like."
In summation, I asked Donavin to talk about some of the others factors that will steer his recruitment. He said there will be a few key things he'll be looking for on his visits.
"I'm not really looking at distance at all. It's really going to be about which college I feel most comfortable at.
"I want to play in a good football environment with a good coaching staff that can get the best out of me. I need to also meet some of the players and see what they think of the school If I'm going to be somewhere for four or five years, I want to know what the players already there think about it."
Donavin will compete in not only football his senior year, but basketball and track as well, his events being the high jump, long jump and the relays. Donavin also said he recently clocked a 4.56 in the forty yard dash on an outside track. Once in college, he plans to major in Criminal Justice.
Look for more updates on Donavin Newsom from BRR, as we continue to keep you updated on his recruitment.
- Bryan Munson -