Breaking Down: Peyton Newell

Nebraska won a tough recruiting battle to pull in four-star defensive lineman Peyton Newell over teams such as South Carolina and home state schools Kansas and Kansas State.'s Randy Withers talks about what makes Newell special as a football player and what that could mean at Nebraska.

Peyton Newell is a solid pick-up for Nebraska in their 2014 recruiting class. The No. 23 defensive tackle in the nation doesn't really play inside at Hiawatha (Kans.) according to recruiting analyst Randy Withers. In fact, Newell is used a little more like a linebacker and opposing offenses rarely go his direction.

"He plays kind of a hybrid, standup defensive end a little like a linebacker," Withers said. "He set the edge for their defensive line and no one runs towards him. So, he chases down plays from the backside.

"He's got a lot of potential as a run defender and will be an excellent pass rusher at the next level. Not a lot of teams throw it around in 4A here in Kansas. And, not a lot of guys are 6-foot-3, 280-pounds and rung a 4.8 either."

While Newell might not play a true defensive tackle position at Hiawatha it's likely where he projects to play in Lincoln. Withers likens Newell to another player that Nebraska got out of the same area last year in their 2013 class.

"Personally, I think that with his skill set that he reminds me a little bit of the defensive tackle that Nebraska got last year, Maliek Collins. He could be a defensive end, he's a tremendous athlete, and then you can move him inside to either a three or a one.

"I like the idea of Newell and Collins together on the same defensive line. You can play him next to Maliek or opposite. Put him opposite Maliek and its pick your poison. Newell has more of a defensive tackle frame, not as long as Maliek, but Peyton has defensive end athleticism."

Nebraska is known to two-gap on their defensive line under Bo Pelini and Rick Kaczenski. Withers thinks that Newell can definitely do that because of his brute strength right now and Withers things that Newell can continue to stack weight and strength on his impressive frame.

"I absolutely think that Newell can play a two-gap scheme. He's not the traditional size of a big, two-gap defensive tackle. But he has that warhorse strength that you need. Unless a kid is coming from Texas, Florida or California, a player's strength is not proportional to body type. Newell has it though.

"If you have an explosive three-technique you can move Newell to shade to free up the three. Newell can work over the double-team, create a mismatch and get a good pass-rush from that spot based on his frame, can add weight and believe it or not he's going to get even stronger."

Nebraska has made it a point of emphasis to recruit and be effective in the 500-mile radius of Lincoln. Newell was likely one of the top targets on that list and there are likely more because of the explosion of talent in the Kansas City area this year.

"Obviously the conference change has had an effect. Talent level in the Kansas City area is at a level this year that we've never seen before. 2012 was big, but this year is bigger and continues to grow. Nebraska is a name that still has value in the Kansas City area.

"Players like Bubba Starling or even a Monte Harrison, guys that may never end up at Nebraska, there is a weight that Nebraska carries with players in the area because of those two. Those kids have millions of dollars staring them in the face and if they pass on going pro they are choosing Nebraska.

"That possibility alone of those players going to Nebraska if they choose not to go to Nebraska adds value to the name in the Kansas City area with the recruits. Nebraska will always be a player in the Kansas City are because of the number of players that go to Nebraska and the proximity. A conference change with Missouri to the SEC has helped as well."

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Bryan Munson has worked with Big Red Report for 11 years covering recruiting and football and has covered Nebraska recruiting for 13 years.
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