Representing Naptown

Watching fellow Indianapolis, Ind., product MarQueis Gray show out at quarterback for the East team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in early January, made class of 2009 signal-caller Morgan Newton think about the possibility of him doing the same thing inside the Alamo Dome down in San Antonio, Texas, next year.

The two played against each other during the season.

"I remember, we played them pretty tight, they actually beat us in overtime," Morgan Newton said of MarQueis Gray. "They beat us on a trick play. He is definitely a guy that is really good. It was good to see him play in the game and be successful."

The four-star Newton and his Carmel teammates lost to Gray and Ben Davis during the season, but they bounced back to win the Indiana Class 5-A state championship. The 6-foot-4 ½, 210-pound Newton threw for around 2,000 yards, ran for another 900, and had 36 total touchdowns.

Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota, where Gray is verbally committed, have all extended scholarship offers. Notre Dame assistant coach Corwin Brown and Newton talk about once every week, and several other programs are also showing interest.

"Just building a good relationship, staying in touch, stuff like that," Newton said of him and Brown.

A Notre Dame assistant dropped by the school a couple weeks ago. Newton's not sure if or when an offer is coming, but that he is high on the Irish's list.

"I don't know what they want," Newton said. "Coach talks as if it could possibly be coming. I'm not sure. We're just staying in communication and seeing how things play out with signing day, and seeing what they need and what's best."

Newton has made three recent trips up U.S. 31 to South Bend. Once for a summer workout, and also for the Georgia Tech and USC games this season.

"It was one of those places where you enter, when you come into the town, you can feel some of the tradition," Newton said. "It's a shock to be at Notre Dame. It was really fun for me and my Dad and my little brothers when I was there."

Newton has always liked Notre Dame, and the fact that the Irish have brought in two-straight five-star quarterbacks in Jimmy Clausen and Dayne Crist, in the last two recruiting classes, isn't going to stop him from considering the program for his own future.

"I'm always ready to compete," Newton said. "Notre Dame, like I said earlier, the tradition, and it's a place that is still great to play at. I feel I can help out and do some good things."

Like Gray, Newton also thinks he can do some good things in the Army game next year if given the chance. Gray ran for 41 yards and a touchdown, and also threw for 56 yards and a score in the East's 33-23 victory over the West.

"I would love to play in the game," Newton said. "I definitely want to play in the game."

Newton had to settle for the U.S. Army National Combine this year. In an event showcasing some of the nation's top juniors, the strong-armed Newton threw one pass that almost took the head off of a running back coming out of the backfield.

"I thought I did pretty well," Newton said. "It was fun seeing a lot of good guys down there. It was obviously a whole nother level than what a lot of us are used to. Definitely, I could compete with everyone down there and it was fun to be competitive."

Newton has around a 3.5 GPA. He reported a bench press of 255 pounds, and a 40-yard dash time of 4.55.


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