One of the players that Texas fans have wanted the Longhorns to recruit for awhile is Aledo 2015 wideout Ryan Newsome. And while it took some time for the 'Horns to express their full interest, Newsome said he's now planning to attend the first Texas Junior Day on Feb. 22.
"Shawn Watson came down and saw me after the dead period, and he personally invited me," Newsome said. "They said I was a top target for UT, and as far as slot receivers go, the best out there."
What did Newsome think about the Longhorns extending that interest? After all, the previous staff was torn on whether to offer him, not because of Newsome's ability, but rather because of the Longhorns' then-six-man 2014 receiver class and a 2015 class that already had Keke Coutee committed and DaMarkus Lodge and Kemah Siverand sitting in a good spot.
"It was just great, man," Newsome said. "They told me that I the best slot receiving guy out there in 2015. I can feel their interest a lot more. The old staff … they didn't know what they wanted to do with me as far as an offer goes. But Tommie Robinson has a great relationship with me, he's almost like another father figure to me, and he said they popped my film in and Coach Strong and the staff thought I was special."
The Texas staff has also told Newsome's coach that the receiver/return man can expect an offer when he reaches Austin for the Junior Day. Despite sitting out a bunch of time because Aledo blew out most of its schedule, Newome averaged nearly 10 yards per carry and 25.3 yards per catch while putting up 1,358 yards and 18 touchdowns on 104 touches from scrimmage. And that doesn't count Newsome's national-record-tying seven punt return touchdowns, nor his kickoff return for a touchdown. In all, Newsome was a huge part of the reason Aledo set a national single-season scoring record this past year.
Texas is far from Newsome's only suitor. He has plans to hit Texas Tech on April 11 for the Red Raiders' spring game, though he admitted "that could change." That's because the schedule gets pretty tight with Newsome slated to visit Oregon on April 12. And Newsome admitted that many people felt like Baylor was the team to beat for his services.
"I blew up during the season, and I didn't have anybody that stood out," Newsome said. "I've talked to a bunch of guys, and the predictions are off. If I knew where I wanted to go to school, I'd have already committed. I'm just soaking it all up right now.
"I have to sit down and evaluate these coaches; really pick at them," Newsome said. "My coach says that I should know the coaches as well as they know me, and even to know them before I talk to them on the phone. I need to find out what they're all about so I can really evaluate them."
Newsome said that many people likely predicted his college choice based on the leanings, or supposed leanings, of Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a close friend of Newsome's. The two have talked about playing together at the next level.
"You probably hit the nail right on the head there," Newsome said. "We're definitely trying to go to school together, and as far as Baylor goes, or other schools, that's probably where some of that is coming from. But while Jarrett and I really want to go to school together, it's not set in stone, and it might not happen. It's just a want. It happens that right now, the schools that he likes align somewhat with the schools I like. We'll see what happens."