Newsome Torn Between Two

Jan. 22 -- On the eve of his announcement, four-star receiver Ryan Newsome is still wrestling with his decision...

It’s been a long, involved recruitment for Aledo (Tex.) four-star receiver Ryan Newsome, but with the finish line a day away, the speedster is still mulling over his decision.

“I am pretty torn right now, to be honest with you,” Newsome said. “I’m going to spend a lot of time praying and talking with my family tonight. I’ve got great opportunities no matter where I go, but this is the biggest choice I’ve had to make in my life.”

The choice will come down to Texas, the hometown school, or UCLA, the school that has most consistently made him feel like a priority.

“I think UCLA, they’ve shown me a lot of love,” Newsome said. “They’re always asking about me, seeing how I’m doing, and that’s every day. That’s not just one day or one week. That’s Coach (Jim) Mora seeing how I’m doing every day. He spearheads my recruitment, and that’s the head guy. That’s really big.

“With Texas, I’m the local guy, so they’re on me pretty hard, but there was a time when I didn’t hear from them for about three weeks. So that was pretty weird. I know they want me and they need me. I know when I didn’t hear from them it was because they were searching for a receivers coach, since that was pretty critical, and they found one that I’m very familiar with. But if that was enough, I’d obviously have committed already.”

Newsome eliminated Tennessee late last week, and despite a late attempt from Oklahoma, he’ll only have two hats on the table for his announcement tomorrow.

Choosing between those hats may come down to making a choice between forging his own path or doing what his family wants him to do.

“Distance is a factor for my family, but I want the emphasis for that on them,” Newsome said. “It’s my future. At the end of the day, it’s not going to affect anybody but myself. Well, it’ll affect them a little bit, but they’ve done their time in college, and I have to ultimately do what’s best for me and my future. That might be in California, or that might be in Texas. I honestly don’t know right now.”

When asked if there’s a way he’s leaning right now, though, Newsome has a slightly different answer.

“I’ll tell you this: my parents really want to see me close to home,” Newsome said. “And there are a lot of opportunities I can give them here and they can give me as well. They’re not going to be far away if I need anything from home. And I won’t lie, you know how mom’s go. They always want their babies close to home. And my dad, I’m a daddy’s boy too, and he wants to see me play.

“But I just kind of want something a little different. It’s just something I’ve thought about for a long time. I wouldn’t say I’m leaning any way, but I know in my heart as of right now where I kind of want to go.”

Newsome sees both schools as needing his particular skill set after doing plenty of careful film study this year.

“Really both schools need a guy like me,” Newsome said. “UCLA is 10-3 in consecutive seasons, but they need a guy like me, that’s been kind of absent from their offense. I can tell. I have recorded every game they played, watched every game, and they really need a guy who can take the top off of a defense. It really adds a different element and dynamic to the team that’s really not there. With Texas, they really need me too, someone to make explosive plays, at punt return, kick return, and out of the slot. They both present a compelling case for how much they need me, which is what makes it so tough.”

Texas’ recruiting momentum, which had nearly flat-lined toward the end of the season, picked up considerably when Malik Jefferson and DeAndre McNeal committed. The two local Texans have boosted Texas’ recruiting profile, and Newsome took notice.

“There was one point in time that I thought Malik Jefferson was going to Texas A&M, but when he chose Texas, that made it seem like A&M wasn’t necessarily the cool place to go anymore,” Newsome said. “Me and him are really close, so that was big. You definitely pay attention to (high profile recruits going to a school). But I’m not really into following people. I want to blaze my own trail, and if it ends up at Texas, then it’s my decision. If it’s UCLA, it’s great too. You’ve got guys like Keisean Lucier-South and Josh Rosen there too.”

Along with the coaching staff, plenty of UCLA’s recruits and players have been hitting up Newsome as well in an attempt to get him to come to UCLA.

“I received a text from Josh Rosen just a couple of days ago telling me how great it is,” Newsome said. “He’ll probably hit me up again tonight. Eldridge Massington, too, me and him are really close. Caleb Benenoch, he’s a recruiter. He was blowing up my Instagram page the other day. I love it there, man. I loved my visit there. I’m completely torn.”

In the end, the decision may come down to whether he’s willing to pick a school that might not necessarily be the one his family wants him to attend.

“It’s a pretty tough decision,” Newsome said. “It’s family, it’s tough to go against, but if it’s the best thing for you, you’ve got to try it. But that’s me, man, no matter what anyone else is writing, what they think they know about my recruitment, they don’t know. It’s a much closer race than anyone thinks. It’s two great schools, and great opportunities at both. It’s extremely close.”

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