Newsome Preparing For Senior Season

The Ohio State coaching staff is apparently putting a premium on speed among its defenders, a fact that endeared them to Cleveland Glenville defensive end Jonathan Newsome. Find out his thoughts on the Buckeyes and his verbal commitment to the program as well as where head coach Ted Ginn Sr. really thinks Newsome excels on the field.

With fall camp underway and one more season to play before he heads to Ohio State, Jonathan Newsome could have any number of goals for the coming year.

Instead, the defensive end prospect from Cleveland Glenville has just one goal: To get where all the great Tarblooders who went before him were unable to get.

"I just want to win a state championship," he told "That's it. It's time to get over the hump. We've never won a state championship. I don't want to go out and just be another senior class that couldn't get there."

Fall camp began July 21, and Newsome said the Tarblooders are already working to achieve that goal. With a roster boasting the usual amount of high-level college talent, Glenville has a lot of factors working for it as the 2008 season approaches.

As for Newsome, the 6-2½, 240-pound athlete said he brings one thing to the table above all else: speed.

"When I got to Glenville I wasn't that fast, but coming out of here I know how to play fast," he said. "It comes both from drills and playing each other. It's just competition. As you compete, you get better. We've got a lot of athletes. Us linemen try to keep up with the receivers, so that's what that is."

Newsome said the fastest player on the team is cornerback Mike Edwards.

When asked what makes Newsome a standout player, Glenville head coach Ted Ginn Sr. praised his knowledge of the game of football.

"He's just a smart player," Ginn said. "He's intelligent, first of all, and he's so smart and smooth. He's going to know his position, he's going to be where he needs to be and he understands the whole structure of football and his position. In high school, with most kids you have to continue to teach them and coach them and they don't study and understand the whole concept. He understands it."

Although he had planned on waiting for some time before making a final college decision, Newsome opted to issue a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes on June 24. In doing so, he became the 23rd member of the class of 2009 – but he was often met with skepticism along the way to becoming a Buckeye.

For that, he has his pedigree to thank.

"When you talk to other colleges other than Ohio State, if you're from Glenville and you have an Ohio State offer they automatically think you're just playing a game if you haven't committed already," he said. "A lot of those colleges used to ask me if I was silently verbaled. I realized it was starting to get out of hand. I was just trying to enjoy the recruiting process and see some schools, but in the end I knew where I wanted to go."

Newsome said he is friends with a number of former Tarblooders who suit up for the Buckeyes now including Shawntel Rowell, Jermil Martin, Jermale Hines and Robert Rose, among many others.

"With Glenville, it's a family," he said. "Everybody knows each other, so once you're from Glenville and you see another guy from Glenville it's like they're brothers."

With his size and speed, Newsome was told by the OSU coaching staff that he fits into the team's plans for the future. Those plans apparently include trying to find ways to improve overall speed in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball.

"The day (OSU cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson) called me he said, ‘We want you to be a Buckeye. We watched your highlight film and you fit perfectly into our plans for the future because you've got speed. We can do a lot of things with you,' " Newsome said. "Plus, he said I was a nice young man or something like that.

"If you look around the game, the game has changed. They're moving linebackers down to defensive end and defensive ends to defensive tackles. It's all about speed now. They want you to play fast. That's what people are looking for."

Although he has primarily been recruited by Johnson, Newsome said he has developed a solid relationship with OSU defensive line coach and defensive coordinator Jim Heacock as well.

And although he is just the latest in a long line of players from Glenville to pledge his services to head coach Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes, Newsome said there was still a positive reception to his final decision.

"Everybody was excited for me," he said. "They said they were glad I was able to get it over with, and they're happy I'm going to be a Buckeye. I got a lot of good vibes. I'm glad I chose a place that made everybody happy. It just makes me know I made the right decision."

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