"Oh man, my relationship with Coach Mora is awesome," Newsome said. "It really is, because it's Jim Mora, and a lot of guys can't say they're being recruiting by Jim Mora. He hits me up almost every single day. I think it's pretty cool. I never get tired of talking to him."
The Aledo (Tex.) speedster is one of UCLA's most coveted receiver prospects in the 2015 class, possessing the speed and playmaking ability to be a game breaker in Noel Mazzone's offense. Given how much of a priority he is, it'd be understandable if UCLA were giving him the hard sell, but Newsome says it's not so.
"Honestly, we don't talk about football all the time," Newsome said. "(Mora)'s talking everything in general, about life and making this decision. It's crazy, of course UCLA is UCLA and he tells me that, but the crazy part is he just talks about the decision-making process in general. I mean, he's told me before, UCLA sells itself, it's a great school, it's in Los Angeles, so he doesn't stress that to me. The part that really impresses me about Coach Mora is that he doesn't put any pressure on me, and I like that about him."
It's not just Mora, though, and that's probably the part that has made it most clear to Newsome that he's one of UCLA's highest priorities in the class. Not only has the whole staff reached out to him, but he can actually rattle off the names without prompting.
"I've talked to all of them," Newsome said, laughing. "I promise you, all of them. Coach Klemm, Coach McClure, Coach Yarber, Coach Ulbrich, all of them. Coach Polamalu talks to me a lot too. They're pretty involved with me, and it's pretty clear they're making me a priority. Being a Texas native, and being a priority out of state, is pretty cool."
The attention has paid off already. Newsome wasn't able to make it out to Westwood this spring, opting to stay local to see Texas, Texas Tech, and other regional schools, but already knows that he'll visit UCLA as one of his first visits in the summer.
"For the spring I'm probably done," Newsome said. "I'm really trying to visit UCLA, though. I'm going to visit UCLA in the summer, and they'll be my first visit so I'm excited about that. I think I'm going June 8th, after I take my SAT. I'm going to up there with my family, and I think it'll be fun. I've never been to California before. I'm anxious to see the campus and meet the staff. I'm really just excited to meet all of them for the first time."?
The 5'9, 170-pound receiver also has plans to visit Oregon sometime in the early part of summer. After he's taken both visits, he plans to cut down his list, and it's a good bet that both the Bruins and the Ducks will be on it — since he already has plans for return trips.
Plenty of schools have already been in to see Newsome over the evaluation period, with Notre Dame, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas A&M, Utah, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Nebraska among the notables who have shown up at his high school. He just took an unofficial visit to Texas to check out the spring game, and came away intrigued.
"It was pretty fun," Newsome said. "They had some kinks they have to work out. I think they'll be fine. They're just trying to figure out their identity and things like that. We'll see what happens with them."
Newsome also said he's not sure yet how he'd fit in the Longhorns offense, since they're still in the nascent stages of putting in their offense. He did say, though, that the Texas staff is probably recruiting him the hardest of any school.
"Texas Tech is recruiting me pretty hard," Newsome said. "Texas is recruiting me the hardest, I would say. Oklahoma and UCLA are both right there with them, all together in a group. Some of the schools, like UCLA, rather than send me a bunch of letters, and they do send me letters, they'd rather talk to me on the phone, which I think is pretty cool."
Newsome is also friendly with UCLA-committed quarterback Josh Rosen, and he said that Rosen has already put in some initial feelers to him to see how interested he'd be in joining him in Westwood.
"Having an elite quarterback to play with is a big deal," Newsome said. "I actually talked to Josh . He hit me up on Twitter one time after he committed. He tweeted at me, and there were so many reporters that jumped on that so quick. All he told me was "hey, follow back" since I wasn't following him. So, I went on Twitter, clicked on the Tweet, and it already had 30 retweets! It was crazy! So he had to delete the tweet after I followed him back, but that just shows how much clout he's got, and how much clout I guess I have now."
When asked if that was a little surreal coming from where he was a year ago (a lightly recruited, undersized sophomore), Newsome readily agreed.
"Yeah, it is," Newsome said. "You've got the No. 1 quarterback in the nation recruiting you. I guess when everyone jumped on was when the recent ESPN rankings came out, and I'm only like 5'8, or 5'9, and I'm the highest rated receiver after Christian Kirk. I think that's what made a lot of people jump on. I'm like No. 18 in the nation, and I think that's pretty cool."
Newsome has not only risen up the football recruiting boards of a lot of schools, but he's quickly jumped onto the radar for a variety of track programs across the country, qualifying for the state championships in the 100 meters.
"I ran a 10.37 last week, electronic time," Newsome said. "A lot of guys say they run a 10.3, and a lot of guys are lying. You can check. Most of them run in the 10.7s.
"LSU wants to offer me a track scholarship, but they're kind of waiting on football offering first, because I told them I wouldn't go for just track."?
Interestingly, Mora actually brought up track with Newsome in one of their first conversations, before the receiver had even told Mora that he ran track.
"If I go to UCLA, I could run track and train in Cali, which would be just a great place to train," Newsome said. "He told me not to worry about it, and I could run if I want to if I come there."