Often in recruiting, offers come in bursts. Players might not have any offers, or might have a few, but when it rains, it pours. And for 2015 Aledo wide receiver prospect Ryan Newsome, it's been a hurricane lately.
"Man, it's been crazy," Newsome said. "The biggest thing has just been trying to stay humble throughout the process. But I've been so excited at the same time."
Newsome is up to seven offers, but five of those offers came in the past week or so, with the Oklahoma Sooners serving as the latest team to offer the speedster.
"I'm excited about it," Newsome said. "Coach Stoops and Coach Heupel and Coach Norvell told me that I remind them a lot of Ryan Broyles. He's a guy that made some history. They said they were excited about my record, and said they heard about it. They've been pursuing me for quite some time, and I love what they do with the offense.
"I caught a game up there when they played Tulsa," Newsome said. "I loved it, man. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the way that they used (Jalen) Saunders. That's somebody that they said I would be used like. They have two seniors graduating, and both slots could be open. They want me to make an impact right away in the slot and at kick returner and punt returner. They said they'd be down in December for a game."
Indeed, the record that Newsome is referencing has helped to see his recruiting attention spike. This season alone, Newsome has returned seven punt returns for a touchdown. That's a state of Texas record, and just one return fewer than the national record, set by Jason Clay of Alabama in 1998. As Aledo is still in the playoffs, and figures to make a deep run, potentially to the state championship, Newsome should get some more opportunities.
It's been quite a ride for the receiver who transferred from L.D. Bell to Aledo.
"The competition is different," Newsome said. "I knew that I would have an impact on the team, but I just didn't know in what way. I wanted to score quite a bit, and the punt returns just started happening. We just got rolling. I just need one more to tie and two more to be the all-time record holder."
If Newsome emerged as a force in the return game, it shouldn't come as a surprise. He was tutored in Pee Wee ball by NFL Hall of Fame player Deion Sanders, himself a star punt-returner.
"He basically mentored me," Newsome said. "He really instilled in me a lot at a young age. He told me to watch Devin Hester, and I modeled my kick and punt returns after [Sanders]. He was showing me the ropes, and that's really a guy that I have to give a lot of credit to. He taught me to be patient, to let my blocks set up and to have a different kind of confidence … that if you kick it to me, I'm going to score."
Blinding speed doesn't hurt, either. Newsome describes his own game as "electric," and that certainly isn't a stretch for anybody who has seen him play. That has helped him to earn offers from Baylor, Clemson, Colorado State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, TCU and Texas Tech.
"Right now it's pretty tough to separate schools out," Newsome said. "Oregon reached out to me recently, and sent like 20 letters to my house, and Oklahoma State, too. Baylor is a favorite of mine, too. They're a team on the rise, and more importantly, Coach Briles's extension was big to me.
"My friend is Dontre Wilson, and he told me that wherever you go, don't go there just for the coach. Go there because you want to be there," Newsome said. "Dontre was going to Oregon for Chip Kelly. I think Chip came out to recruit him on a Wednesday. Like the next day, he was gone to Philadelphia."
Out of the teams that have offered, he said Baylor, Clemson, TCU and Oklahoma are his favorites. But he also said he doesn't want to rush the process, in part to allow schools like Texas to enter his recruitment. He visited the Longhorns earlier this month.
"First and foremost, I love the coaches, Major Applewhite and Darrell Wyatt," Newsome said. "They said they're going to be down to see one of my games pretty soon, and that they loved my film. Mack said they loved what they saw. He might or might not be there, but I loved my visit. I loved the atmosphere — even a game like Kansas, they filled up the place. That's great fan support.
"Coach Applewhite told me to look at Daje Johnson and how he's utilized in that offense," Newsome said. "I like that. Of course, everybody knocks about Johnathan (Gray). I know him real well."
Newsome also took a November visit to Baylor to watch the Bears take on Oklahoma.
"That was great," Newsome said. "Of course before I went, they hadn't offered me, but they told me they were really close and they invited me to the game over the phone. I visited with Jarrett Stidham, and him and I are maybe looking to go to the same college. We both loved it."
What did they love about Baylor?
"We loved the atmosphere, and loved the energy that Baylor brought," Newsome said. "It felt homey, and felt like home.
"That's not to say that any other colleges aren't my favorites," Newsome said. "I want to look at what kind of offense they run. If they're a pro-style, it's not necessarily for me. But I don't just want to look at myself. I want to look at the QB throwing me the ball."
In fact, that's how Newsome said he and Stidham have gotten close.
"We played against each other in the second game of the season, and we actually played against each other as quarterbacks in 7-on-7, back when I was projected to play QB for Aledo," Newsome said. "I won against him, he won against me. Jarrett has a ton of ability. He can sling it. He's very precise, and I love his pocket presence."
Even with the bevy of recent offers, Newsome said he wouldn't mind if Texas, Texas A&M or Oregon jumped into the fray.
"Those are three schools that I could see myself at," Newsome said. "I want schools that are going to utilize me in the right way to make plays. Those three schools … I think they'd be setting me up to make plays. I'm just waiting on them to offer."