Just because a high school defensive lineman is 6'3, 280 pounds doesn't mean college football coaches will be ready to put a scholarship on the table. But when you have that size, along with the ability to add 40 pounds of muscle while still maintaining a 4.89 40-yard dash, maxing out at 370 pounds on the bench and carrying a 3.96 gpa – well, it's no surprise 2014 Kansas defensive end Peyton Newell is attracting so much attention.
"I'm up to 22 offers," Newell told GoBlueWolverine. "Most recent were West Virginia and Arizona State."
Newell accumulated great stats on the defensive side of the ball in his junior season, amassing 61 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recovered and 10 sacks. Newell credits his hard work and dedication off the field as the main factor in his success on.
"As I've gotten older you can tell the improvements I've made each year, and that's something I'm definitely proud of," said Newell. "I'm probably most proud of off the field as far as the weight room. At the end of summer I ended up squatting 700 pounds. Going into my freshman year I did 350. In two years it pretty much doubled."
Nebraska, Northwestern, Illinois, Kansas and Kansas State are some of the schools that stopped by recently to speak with Newell's coaches. Expected to be in today is Michigan offensive line coach Darrell Funk.
"It's definitely good," said Newell. "I think I talked to him two weeks ago and it was just a basic conversation -- a little about Michigan."
"He was just asking how I was doing, my GPA and how I was doing with school. Stuff like that."
Newell, who says he's also spoken with his position coach and Michigan defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, likes the fact that he would be receiving plenty of attention in Ann Arbor, with coach Brady Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison lending their expertise and coaching everyday in practice as well.
"That's definitely impressive to me, because it shows how much support and how much they care for the defensive line," said Newell. "That's something I'll definitely look into as far as Michigan."
Another feather in Michigan's cap is Newell's dedication to academics. Like most kids, Newell says he didn't understand the heavy focus on academics at a young age, but the extra work and studying gives him plenty of options.
"I always got mad when my parents said go down to your room and study, but now I actually thank them for doing that because it's really paying off," said Newell.
Fielding interest from several schools hundreds of miles away, Newell says distance from home won't be an issue in this recruitment, with his parents planning on traveling to as many games as possible regardless of his choice.
The recruiting process is in full swing for Newell, with visits set up to Kansas State tonight, Nebraska this weekend, and South Carolina the following weekend. Newell says h will be very focused on the student-athletes already in the program and the positive, or negative, vibes he might notice.
"As far as the team, I'm looking for how close the team is, how well they interact with their other teammates," said Newell. "I'm really big on seeing how the players act. (If) they're walking around campus with a smile on their face or walking around sad. Just that they look forward to going to practice and stuff like that."
And asked whether or not he plans on getting out to Ann Arbor, Newell replied, "Oh yeah -- definitely."
Michigan drops in on '14 DE Peyton Newell
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