Saturday, June 1, 2013

KU football cracks Hiawatha DT Peyton Newell’s top six


Kansas University’s emphasis on recruiting in-state talent appears to be working, as Charlie Weis’ football program on Saturday night made the list of the final six schools vying for the services of Hiawatha High standout Peyton Newell.

Newell, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle ranked by as the fourth-best prospect in Kansas in the Class of 2014, revealed his top six schools via Twitter.

Joining KU in making the cut were: South Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Kansas State and USC.

Newell’s new list is a trimmed-down version of his original 34-school list. Of those 34 — dozens more showed interest early on — more than 30 were BCS programs, with nearly the entire Big 12 and Big Ten offering Newell scholarships. Newell said the prospects of early playing time and quality relationships with the coaches played a key role in his recruitment to this point, and both were a big reason KU made the cut.

“I definitely want to play early and that’s something that coach (Buddy) Wyatt and coach (Clint) Bowen, as well as coach Weis have pounded into my head, that I’d make an early impact,” Newell said. “That stuck in my mind.”

Another thing that helped KU was the fact that Newell comes from a KU family. Both of his parents went to KU along with nearly 20 other relatives.

Asked if KU had a legitimate shot of landing him or if including the Jayhawks was merely an act of kindness and loyalty, Newell did not diminish KU’s place.

“They actually do,” he said. “KU’s a school I grew up with and is kind of my family school and hometown school. KU’s definitely important to me.”

Another thing that’s important is the role KU plays in honoring Newell’s mother, Missy, who passed away when he was 5 after a battle with breast cancer.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind to go to KU and make a big difference early on (for) her,” Newell admitted. “So that’s definitely something that sticks with me. But I have no pressure to go anywhere. My family’s been great about letting it be my decision.”

It’s not just the Kansas coaches with whom Newell has built strong relationships. Even some of the current and future players are getting in on the act of trying to convince him that KU is the right pick.

“Relationships are a key part of the process,” Newell said. “And me and (2014 commitment) Traevohn Wrench (of Gardner-Edgerton High) have gotten close through the process. I know every time I see him he’s always saying something about me becoming a Jayhawk.”

Newell has a busy summer of workouts and team camps ahead and plans to announce his pick on Aug. 30.


kellerman411 8 years, 11 months ago

Matt Tait ‏@mctait 29 May

Great talk w/ #KUfball target Peyton Newell. Real impressed w/ his maturity & demeanor. Says he'll still announce Top 5 June 1 via Retweeted by Peyton Newell

I see you out there Matt, going hard for KU Football.

Phil Leister 8 years, 11 months ago

Couldn't blame the kid if he picks either USC or Georgia, but keeping a local product in Lawrence would be huge for Weis.

kay_you 8 years, 11 months ago

Listen to your family Peyton. 20 relatives can not be wrong.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 11 months ago

Just being considered with those schools...Charlie don't play. M

As much as I'd love this kid to be a jayhawk, when USC or the SEC (Missouri excluded) come calling you better answer.

Eric Williams 8 years, 11 months ago

I disagree. The top tier schools over-recruit and you have to beat out other 5 and 4 star recruits just to see the second string. He can get more playing time at a D-1 school like Kansas.

If you care about conference cache and past success then sure go to USC or SEC.

LAJayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

He can get more PT right away. He'll battle it out for first string by his junior year in the SEC. If he comes to KU, there's a solid chance he could start immediately. Plus, being a star player on a team that makes a significant turn around equals significantly greater hype than being another dude on the Georgia or USC defense. Greater hype can mean better draft position.

It may not seem like it on the surface, but there definitely can be a benefit to going to a non-Blue-Blood football program like KU.

kellerman411 8 years, 11 months ago

If he trusts Lane Kiffin to hold true on the scholarship offer, he is crazy. Lane over signs like no other and then picks who he really wants and runs off the rest. I feel like it's KU and South Carolina with Georgia kicking in the back door. I just can't see K-State with that many Jayhawks in the family. Then again, they're finalists for a reason.

texashawk10 8 years, 11 months ago

Is he going to be a DE or DT in college? Rivals has him listed as a DE and ESPN has him as a DT. Either way, if early PT is important to him, KU is probably where he's going to get a chance to play the earliest as a RS freshmen when this group of JuCo's are mostly gone.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 11 months ago

You must have missed the part about KU (and the other Big 12 schools) getting $2M more than mizzoo (and the other SEC school). We're doing just fine. Yes, last year was a down at the top (and bottom), but the Big12 is still very strong.

mojayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Your grammar and punctuation errors make your post hard to follow. But with that said, the Big 12 is still a stable conference. There will be more conference changes and realignments to come in future years across the country, but the $$$ in television contracts will keep us competitive with the best of them. No need to be a doubting Thomas. Just be prepared for changes to happen.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 11 months ago

Die? The Big XII teams are scheduled to each make >40 million at the end of their current contract. Football drives conferences and KU is the only truly down team. No other conference had 90% of their teams go to a bowl last year. Yes, the SEC is still the best football conference, but the Big XII is one good financial footings.

CrystalJones 8 years, 11 months ago

With that many Hawks in the family, this kid ain't going anywhere but KU. He'll be flattered by the big names on his list, but in the end in-state players like this almost always go where they feel most comfortable. I'm sure crimson & blue have been running through his veins all of his life.

In other words, welcome to Lawrence, Peyton!

Lance Meier 8 years, 11 months ago

hey, JHWKDW the Big XII is doing just fine. Have great contract with ESPN and Fox, had article in Ok paper that gave $ amounts and KU-ksu both got $22million and it will B more next year... It was national news and the schools are doing just fine. Stop acting like those MORONS in nebraska they act like they have to B the top dog in this league (they never were) T E X A S is HUGE one reason they "do" have a $300 million contract from ESPN, the channel can only carry 1 maybe 2 FB games a year. Not an assest to the FB team, but more to the University... Neither KU nor any school should be pissed they might get a little less then another school, WV and TCU got only $11million for only being in the league for 1 year. The BIG XII is in a great posiiton right now, other conferences are scrambling for members, the confrerence is dong just fine... Just need to go out and compete on the field and in the classroom.

ILoveLawrence 8 years, 11 months ago

I went to school with Peyton's mom Missy and I am glad to see he is making her proud.

Joe Ross 8 years, 11 months ago

Youre from Hiawatha then. We would be about the same age...wondering if I know you.

Randy Bombardier 8 years, 11 months ago

It is pretty easy to see that this young man values loyalty and that means there is only one choice and we all know where that is. Sometimes making a choice like this seems like a winding road but it always leads to the same place.

Terry N Tom Denner 8 years, 11 months ago

This kid could or should be Chris Martins replacement on the end. Stay true to KU Peyton and prolong the family tradition at KU !!! Will enjoy my season tickets watching you level the QB in the near future.

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

I don't see us getting this guy. Have talked to guys in the Hiawatha school system and without elaborating details, he definitely is not leaning towards Kansas. Hope I'm wrong...

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