Incoming Irish: Tyler Newsome

Our "Incoming Irish" series continues with punter and kicker, Tyler Newsome

Twenty-four hours is all it took for kicker Tyler Newsome to make his decision. He received an offer last summer when visiting Notre Dame and the Georgia native committed one day later. Newsome's story is a familiar one, and perhaps there is something special in the concrete in South Bend because so many similar decisions seem to get made in a footstep.

"From the moment I stepped on campus I knew this was where I wanted to be," Newsome said. "There aren't many places in the country where you can get such a good athletic and academic opportunity. It is an excellent school and I am looking forward to being part of the tradition."

The six foot two, 175-pound Carrollton high school senior has been working out five days a week in anticipation of his arrival at Notre Dame and he doesn't mind the step up from high school football to a big college program.

"There is a little bit of pressure but I like that," Newsome said. "Pressure doesn't make me nervous and I think it makes me play better.

Newsome acknowledges a new level of pressure but is excited for the change and the challenge.

"I am excited for all the games to be honest," Newsome said. "But the opener against Rice and the USC game will both be special."

While some see Newsome as a punter, he hasn't discussed with the coaches whether he will be punting, on kickoffs or redshirting this year. Regardless, he is eager to learn the ropes and has a top-level teacher in senior kicker Kyle Brindza.

"I have a mindset of going in there and competing but I am looking forward to being under Kyle's wing and having him as a mentor," Newsome said. "Kyle is a great kicker and I am excited to learn from him."

Pressure Packed

Few positions are as beholden to the elements as are kicker and punter, and kicking in Carrollton, Georgia is a lot different than kicking in South Bend -- there's a reason birds fly south for the winter. The heaviest snowfall in Carrollton in the last 30 years was six inches. If that's ever the heaviest during a South Bend winter, we'll know Al Gore was right. But despite his unfamiliarity with the conditions, Newsome has been preparing himself for the new climate.

"I've been practicing a lot in the cold and I've done a lot of drills to prepare for the weather," Newsome said. "I try to go out when it is as windy and cold as it gets down here and practice then."

Being a kicker in football is one of the few jobs in life where you can succeed way more often than not, yet still be castigated (Read: Saban, Nick). And while it might not be fair to boil everything a kicker does down to one high-profile attempt, that is what usually happens and Newsome accepts it.

"That sort of pressure is something that a kicker just has to deal with," Newsome said. "It is not like playing quarterback where you get to throw a ton of passes and change your reads."

Newsome hasn't decided on a major yet but is thinking of possibly doing civil engineering or accounting. And while he says getting his degree is the most important thing for him, he is looking forward to eventually pushing for a starting role.

"Kyle is going to leave some big shoes to fill but I hope by the end of my time here I have earned a starting job and am close to getting my degree." Top Stories