After being named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Class AAAA all-state squad as a senior at Carrollton (Ga.) High School in ’13, Newsome preserved a year of eligibility in ’14 as Kyle Brindza completed his mostly-brilliant stint with the Irish.
Newsome’s debut season in ’15 was top-notch, averaging 44.5 yards per his 55 attempts with eight touchbacks, seven fair catches, 21 punts of 50 or more yards, and 21 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
The 44.5-yard average set a Notre Dame single-season record. Newsome also handled Notre Dame’s kickoff duties with 21 touchbacks and five kicks out of bounds on 84 attempts.
Newsome struggled with his punting consistency in ’16, although he still managed to average 43.5 yards on 54 attempts with just three touchbacks. His number of punts inside the 20-yard line fell to 16 (from 21) while his 50-yard plus boots dropped to 15 (from 21).
• Class: Sr. (Eligibility: 2)
• On The Depth Chart: Entering third season as Notre Dame’s No. 1 punter
• Post-Spring Status: Unchanged
NEWSOME AT HIS BEST
While Newsome had four games with at least three punts downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line during his red-shirt freshman season in ’15, his most prolific performance came at Virginia in his first road game as Notre Dame’s starting punter. Newsome’s four punts averaged 55.8 yards, including three of 50 yards or more (a long of 62) with a fourth attempt inside the 20.
Newsome had at least one punt inside the opponent’s 20-yard line in his first eight games in ’15. His career-best punt came in Notre Dame Stadium against Michigan State last season when he blasted a 71-yarder.
“I’m just living life to the fullest and trying to make the most of the opportunity I’ve been blessed with. I love Notre Dame so much, I don’t want to leave anything undone. I’m trying to make the most out of Notre Dame while I have it.”
BEST CASE SCENARIO
Newsome has the physical talent of an All-American punter. With two years of eligibility remaining, Newsome has averaged 44.0 yards per punt on 109 attempts. Craig Hentrich holds the Notre Dame career record at 44.1 per 118 attempts. Newsome can eclipse Hentrich’s mark – with considerably more attempts – if he straightens out some consistency issues from ’16.
WORST CASE SCENARIO
Newsome is a wired, emotional football player/person whose psyche can ebb and flow from punt to punt. When he keeps it simple and adheres to his punting checkpoints, he’s as good anyone in the country. A streak of inconsistency with Newsome tends to lead to more inconsistency. Even at his worst, however, Newsome has such a big leg that he usually can flip the field.
Hunter Smith (1995-98) didn’t preserve a year of eligibility as a freshman like Newsome did. But like Newsome, Smith was an athlete who punted, and that athleticism served him well.
Smith averaged 41.2 yards per punt in four years due largely to a slow start (36.4-yard average) as a freshman. His final three years were more representative of his ability, averaging 42.5 over his final three seasons, including a 43.3 mark as a sophomore in 1996.