Rather than play for the coach that he really liked, he chose the school that was closer to home.
The decision comes as a bit of a surprise. Wake Forest had offered only last week - Newman had told me in December that he would not commit to a school that "came in at the last minute with an offer."
No consolation to Rice, Newman told me he really liked Rice Coach Rick LaFavers, who had recruited Newman extremely hard in hopes of making him Rice's Kicker for the next 4 years.
LaFavers is considered to be one of the most knowledgable college Special Teams coaches in terms of working with his specialists. He studies his craft diligently and also relies on relationships with nationally renowned kicking experts such as Chris Sailer and Jamie Kohl. Its a shame Newman won't be working with LaFavers.
"It was a really hard decision to make because Coach LaFavers did everything he could for Rice -but its just a little too far for me."
Jimmy took an official visit to Rice December 19th. The Newman's drove to Houston from Oxford (near Birmingham) for the visit rather than flying as offered by Rice. Perhaps that proved to weigh on Jimmy's decision.
Newman has visited Wake Forest unofficially.