In-state defenseman has WSU offer

LYNDEN -- Back during the May Evaluation period, Lynden High junior Caleb Newman was getting mentally prepared to run the 4x400 meter relay at the 2A state meet in Tacoma. Right before he was preparing to get lined up on the blocks, the phone rang. His butterflies disappeared with the news coming in.

It was a football scholarship offer from Washington State.

The 6-3, 225-pound defensive end dominated offensive lines in the 2A classification and was the heart of the defense on a Lions team that went 14-0 in 2011 and were crowned state champs.

Recruiting attention followed, including that of Washington State.

Cougar linebackers coach Jeff Choate is running the WSU recruiting point on Caleb Newman and extended the offer on behalf of Mike Leach. Newman and Choate have remained in close contact ever since.

"We have a great relationship," Newman said. "I really like him and he seems like a great guy. When I was over there for one of the camps, he seemed like a great coach."

Newman could be a BUCK linebacker prospect for WSU in the Cougs' 3-4. He attended a WSU camp event this summer with teammates QB Josh Kraght, WR Zach Vis and OL/DL Matt Meyer. Newman said he enjoyed everything Pullman had to offer.

"I really like the school," Newman said. "They have great facilities and I like the fact that it's a small-town environment. I think they have a good program and I'm excited to see how they do in the next few years."

Newman also holds an offer from Army, and has seen interest from other colleges grow this summer. He recently attended a camp at BYU and the coaches informed him they would be keeping a close eye on him during the first few games of this season. Utah State and Wyoming are also showing increased interest.

AS MUCH AS he likes WSU, Newman said he's in no rush to make a college decision and the plan is to wait until after his senior season to pick a college.

However, he did add that with Mike Leach at the helm and all the excitement around the program, WSU definitely stands out as one of his favorites.

"The new coaching staff seems legit," Newman said. "Mike Leach brought in a lot of good coaches. With how good the program is going to be in the next few years, they're definitely one of my top choices."

Newman was selected first team all-conference and AP all-state in 2011. The Lynden defense held opponents to 12.1 ppg. The Bellingham Herald called him "a physical beast at defensive end" this past season.

NOTABLE: Washington State is no stranger to the talent pool in Lynden. Cougar receiver Blair Bomber was a three-sport standout there.
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