UCLA Pursues the #3-Ranked QB

Kevin Newsome, the 6-3, 215-pound exceptional athlete from Chesapeake (Virg.) Western Branch, is wide open in terms of college. The #5-ranked quarterback in the nation talked about UCLA and the new coaching staff...

Kevin Newsome, the 6-foot-3, 213-pound four-star quarterback from Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Va., finished his junior season (10-2) with 1,600 yards passing and 500 yards rushing for 23 total touchdowns and only six interceptions.

"I can get away from defenders and my strongest attribute is my confidence," Newsome said. "I know I can get the ball down the field. I'm pretty strong up top (benches 320 pounds) and can really throw. I'm also really fast (4.5 forty) and I got fourth at the Nationals in the 55m high hurdles (7.97)."

He says he also runs the 100m, but only plans on playing football in college.

"I'd really like to improve on everything," Newsome said. "I want to get smarter on the field and I want to read the defense better. I'm a student of the game and love to keep learning."

Newsome says he can squat 400 pounds and has a 35 inch vertical jump.

With over 25 scholarship offers already, Scout.com's No. 5 QB denies a leader.

"I'm open," he said. "I'm still traveling and trying to see as many schools as I can. I'd like to commit in August, but it's not certain. I'd just like to be as focused as possible to win games during the season and I don't want recruiting to be a distraction."

Newsome says narrowing down his list will be a difficult task as his only criteria are "a school with good academics and getting a fair chance to play."

Although he insists he has no specific favorites, Newsome has already visited Penn State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Stanford and Duke. All have offered. His first offer was from Virginia Tech in Sept. The Hokies are only five hours away, but Newsome maintains that distance won't be a factor.

"I like the tradition at Virginia Tech," he said. "The coaches always produce great quarterbacks and athletes. Coach Frank Beamer is a great coach and he always produces winning teams. Coach Beamer is a special teams guru and he's tough and stern when he needs to be, but off the field he's a funny and good guy. That's what you want in a coach."

Another coach that has piqued Newsome's interest is new Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez. "He's a great coach," he said. "I love the tradition at Michigan. It's Michigan! I think he'll be very successful there. Just look at what he was able to do at West Virginia. That's really impressive."

Newsome says that the Wolverines are currently recruiting him the hardest. "Everywhere I look around my house I see a big 'M'," he said. "They definitely send me the most mail."

Another Big-10 school that Newsome likes is Penn State. "I really like the Big-10," he said. "It's a great conference. Coach Joe Paterno is a legend and they have amazing tradition. They've done really well recently and I'm sure they'll keep the legacy going, even after JoePa retires."

Newsome says he never really followed college football as a youngster, which might partially explain his lack of allegiance to any program. "We were more of an NFL family," he admitted.

"I'm gonna be busy this summer," he said. "I plan to still visit Northwestern, Boston College and UCLA for sure, but I'll probably go to a few more too."

Newsome says that he's very eager to head out west and check out the new-look Bruins. "I really want to see the new coaches," he said. "That's what interests me about them, especially (offensive coordinator) Norm Chow. He's a great quarterback coach and had done a great job with guys like Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer. I really want to see what he's like.

"I also like coach Rick Neuheisel," Newsome said. "He's got great coaching experience. I think that UCLA is a program moving in the right direction."

The other up-and-coming Pac-10 school that Newsome likes is Stanford. "The academics there are the best and it's a really impressive place," he said. "I like Coach Jim Harbaugh and the fact that they beat USC last year was really impressive. I believe they are on-the-rise."

Newsome will also be trying out for the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in California.

He reports a 3.5 core GPA and is awaiting his ACT results.

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