Is Newell Close?

At the recent Combine at Rutgers this past spring, Keith Newell by way of Trenton Central HS (Trenton, NJ) measured in at 6-feet-5, 5-inches and 1/2. Where does Newell, a 4-star prospect according to, stand today?

Rumors were swirling about that Keith Newell, a 4-star prospect, may have pulled the trigger in favor of Rutgers. caught up with Raphael Mack, Trenton Central HS's Head Coach, to find out.

"No, he hasn't committed. He's definitely thinking about it, but he hasn't committed. They're [Newell, his family] definitely talking it over."

According to Coach Mack, Newell holds a pair of written offers: Rutgers and Cincinnati. Coach Mack indicated that several schools have extended verbal offers, but in terms of paper-in-hand scholarships, there are only two at this time.

"Obviously, he's got great size, he has very good speed for his size. He has a willingness to compete and go hard every play," stated Coach Mack. These attributes were all put on display at the end of April as Newell, along with Desmond Stapleton and Anthony Davis stole the show at the All-American Combine. All three men showed not only tremendous athleticism for their size, but a desire to compete at a high level. Newell (in addition to Stapleton and Davis) also received first-team All-Combine recognition for his outstanding performance.

What are Newell's thoughts about his state school at this time?

"He's really in love with Rutgers. He's excited about what is going on there, about it being close to home," continued Coach Mack.

Part of the recruiting interest for fans deals with the timing of a commitment and when a prospect may eventually pull the trigger in favor of a particular school. Truth be told, a decision is finally reached when a prospect eventually feels right - Newell falls in that precise category where he is considering just how right he feels. Though no particular time frame was offered, fans may expect a decision from the towering big man sooner rather than later.

Coach Mack, a New Jersey native for quite a while, has seen first-hand the effort by the current Rutgers coaching staff to bring the program back to respectability and to continue making progress for future success.

"My impression is that he's [Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano] turned that program around. They have a very high graduation rate, their facilities are second to none. He's really put them on a level playing field."

With the recent commitments of Wayne Thomas and Al-Majid Hutchins, two of the top prospects in the Garden State this year, the possible addition of Keith Newell, one of the top overall prospects in the nation, should have fans filled to the brim with excitement.

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