Like the Sooners, Newland and his North teammates have started out the year undefeated so far. Another thing North has in common with Oklahoma is that its playing one of its biggest games of the season this weekend as well.
"Pretty good as a matter of fact," Newland said on how his team is doing so far. "Our team is 5-0 and is doing really well right now. This week we play an undefeated Putnam City, it's the game of the week actually for Oklahoma."
The 6-foot-2 and 295-pound center has been starting on the offensive line since his freshman year. And now in his third season as a junior is receiving interest from some big named programs.
A few weekends ago Newland was in Norman when the Sooners defeated the Missouri Tigers 38-28. After seeing plenty of Oklahoma games growing up, standing on the field for Newland was a completely different experience.
"I had a blast," Newland began. "I've always gone to OU games so, I grew up going to games and it was always fun but getting to go on the field and witness the recruiting aspect of it was real fun. Talked to Coach Patton a little bit and Coach Gundy. Standing out on the field in front of 85,000 fans packing in to watch the game is pretty awesome."
While on his visit Newland got a chance to talk with Oklahoma's offensive guards and centers coach, Coach Patton. And from the sounds of it, Newland appears to have the Sooners' attention.
"I was talking to him about how the offensive line was looking and stuff like that. He started talking to me about how Coach Gundy has been talking about how our season is going so he was asking me questions about our season. Everything I had to say he was like 'Oh yeah, Coach Gundy was telling us about that."
At this time Newland only has one other visit that he plans on taking to see Oregon take on USC in Eugene in November.
Newland is originally from Midland (TX) and was a Longhorns fan growing up but thanks to an uncle, who happens to have been a Sooner himself, Oklahoma has grown on him Newland says.
"I would love to stay close to home because I know my grandparents live here and my aunts and uncles." Newland said when asked if distance played a factor. "As a matter of fact my uncle lives in Texas. He used to live here and then we did a swap. He played at OU from 1980 to 1985 before the national championship. I grew up a Texas Longhorns fan and I remember every christmas present from him was Boomer Sooner. He always heckled me with it but as time went on and being able to move up here and go to games and able to live the atmosphere OU has kind of grown on me. So, it was a good thing."
How he gets along with the coaches as well as the facilities and style of offense will be deciding factors for Newland. Oklahoma and Oregon both have offenses he likes he says.