Devin Newsome on the defensive backs

San Jose State junior Devin Newsome has played nearly every position on the football field. This season finds him at cornerback. Now one of the veterans of the defensive backfield, Newsome talks about his role, and some of the young players making a difference.

San Jose State junior defensive back Devin Newsome is used to position changes. After catching 25 passes for 505 yards his junior season at Roseville (CA) High School, Newsome was switched to quarterback for his senior year. It turned out to be a good change for Newsome, as he was named the Sierra Foothill League Offensive MVP, after rushing for 808 yards and 16 touchdowns, and passing for 900 yards. He also played defensive back for Roseville, recording 39 tackles, two interceptions, and three fumble recoveries. His success landed him a scholarship in 2006 to San Jose State.

Junior cornerback Devin Newsome is one of the few veterans in the San Jose State defensive backfield

Newsome used the 2006 season at SJSU as a redshirt year, playing quarterback, running back, and defensive back for the scout team. Despite his accolades as an offensive player in high school, Newsome was made a defensive back for the Spartans. His first game action came in the 2007 season opener against Arizona State, where he recorded four unassisted tackles. He would go on to play in 10 games as a redshirt freshman cornerback, starting two games (against Idaho and New Mexico State).

For the 2008 season, Newsome was switched yet again - this time to safety, starting 11 of 12 games. Ironically, it was the one game in 2008 that he didn't star - the season opener against UC-Davis - that Newsome got his first interception. He also got a pick in the game at New Mexico State. For the 2008 season, he recorded 59 tackles. His best game statistically was the season finale against Fresno State, when he was credited with a team leading nine tackles.

Devin Newsome (No. 24) and freshman cornerback Alex Germany take down senior running back Chris Reese

This spring, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Newsome finds himself back at cornerback, where he is now the only returning Spartan cornerback with game starting experience. Only a junior, Newsome, an Academic All-WAC and SJSU Scholar Athlete, is now the veteran and leader of young but talented defensive back corps. Speaking after the April 11 scrimmage, Newsome was asked his impressions of the defense thus far. "I think our defense played well" said Newsome. "We came out with a lot of positives. Obviously there are a lot of things that we still need to work on. But, we're finding we're doing a lot of good things. People are making a lot of plays out there".

Newsome went on to say that, "A lot of guys are flying around, trying to keep up the pace. Trying to keep up because that's what our defense does. That's what we run. There's a lot young, mental mistakes right now. But that just comes with time because we do have a bunch of young guys. The spring's going to help out a lot. By the time fall camp comes around we're going to be moving nicely."

Newsome appears to have no reservations about the recent switch. "I don't have a preference" he said. "If we play better while I'm at safety, I'll play safety. If we play better while I'm at corner, I'll be there. Any way (that) our defense plays better, that's what I need to do."

Does he miss playing offense? "Once in awhile," he said with a laugh. "But I enjoy the other side of the ball a lot. So, it's cool."

Mike Morgan is Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at

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