February 15, 2013

Newell very grateful

In every recruiting cycle California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia are the states that are home to the highest number of big-time prospects.

Schools in all major conferences dip into these states for some of the top talent, but any BCS head or assistant coach will say, "If you can play, you can play. It doesn't matter where you are from."

That is certainly the case with Hiawatha (Kan.) defensive end Peyton Newell.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive end holds 27 offers from schools all over the country, and he isn't taking any of those opportunities for granted.

"It's definitely really overwhelming," Newell said when asked about his recruitment. "I got Michigan State and Georgia in one day for my 26th and 27th offer. Like I said, it is very overwhelming and I'm very lucky to be in the position I'm in."

The offer from Georgia gave Newell his third SEC offer, and the versatile defender relishes the chance to play in what is widely considered the best conference in the country.

"Whenever you can get an SEC offer it is great because the SEC is somewhere you always dream of playing because of the conference," he said. "I was really glad to get that Georgia offer.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt usually likes to extend offers in person, but with Newell living in Kansas, that wasn't possible in this case.

So a new UGA assistant was in charge of getting in touch with the Midwest standout.

"Georgia asked me to call them on Wednesday night around 8 p.m. and I talked to Coach (Chris) Wilson," Newell said of how he received the UGA offer. "He just said that they really like the way I play. He told me simple stuff like that and some other things and that they want to extend an offer to me."

Despite Newell's location in Big 12 country, he is very familiar with the UGA program.

"I know that from the past, Georgia doesn't really have very many off years," he said. "They are always kind of toward the top and definitely a premiere football program. I could see myself playing for them."

Newell has visited a number of the schools that have offered him such as Nebraska, Notre Dame, and South Carolina already, and he believes he and his family have pinpointed which school they will see next.

"I think Georgia is going to be our next visit after this weekend," he said. "We are going to Kansas this weekend for the basketball game and all of that stuff. I think with Georgia, we are going to try and get out there sometime this spring for sure."

Newell and his father, Frank Newell, are taking a meticulous approach to his recruitment and seeing how the star lineman would fit in each scheme.

After taking a look at each system, he believes he might have found the best fit.

"I can really see myself fitting in best in a 3-4," Newell said. "Playing that three technique and five techniques would be an advantage even with my quickness off the edge. I think that would work very well."

Creating a timeline for a decision can sometimes be tough for a prospect.

Newell, however, already has a rough estimate of when he wants to narrow things down and when he will pledge to the school of his choice.

"I'm going to try and get a top five by spring break," he said. "I want to wait and see what schools show interest in me. I'm going to try and get that top five by the spring and try to make my decision toward the end of the summer."

With that in mind, what will be on his mind as he narrows his list in the near future?

"Academics is definitely the most important thing to me. I have a 3.96 GPA so I want to take advantage of that," Newell said. "Relationships are also very key to me. A lot of people know that distance isn't a factor for me so I definitely need to have good relationships with people wherever I go with trust and things like that."

With the 2013 class in the books and offers to 2014 prospects being extended on a daily basis, one thing is for sure.

Coaching staffs don't care where Newell is from.

He can play.

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