Friday, June 27, 2014

Newsome named Register's Male Athlete of Year; UConn is next

The uniform was a little different as the familiar Ansonia No. 2 jersey Arkeel Newsome wore with such distinction during the last four years was replaced by a black dress shirt and bow tie as Connecticut's all-time leading rusher was named the New Haven Register's Male Athlete of the Year in a banquet at Amarante's Sea Cliff in New Haven on Thursday night.

It's hard to argue with Newsome qualifications as Newsome ran for 3,867 yards and 64 touchdowns as a senior as he averaged 11.6 yards per carry. He finished his career with 10,685 yards and 98 touchdowns on 943 carries. Also, 11 of his 29 career receptions resulted in touchdowns and he finished with 187 career touchdowns in 55 career games.

He finished third in the national record book with 172 rushing touchdowns, 187 career TDs and 1,162 points, had sixth best total in career rushing yards and seventh with 41 career 100-yard rushing games as he is the first Parade All-American to sign to play football at UConn.

"It meant a lot," Newsome said. "It is an honor to win this award. It was a nice way to go out and move onto college."

Now it is time for Newsome to put his days at Ansonia in the rear view mirror. He is planning to arrive at UConn for summer session on Saturday. It will give him a chance to get into UConn's summer conditioning program. He is walking into an intriguing situation as Lyle McCombs, the Huskies' leading rusher in each of the last three seasons, was dismissed from the team. Joe Williams, who came to UConn with as much hype as any running back in the last few years, is also gone and the off the field issues of both talented backs ended their UConn careers prematurely.

With the departure of McCombs and graduation of Martin Hyppolite, that leaves Max DeLorenzo (who ran for 349 yards and five touchdowns during the 2013 season) as the only experienced tailback on the roster. Josh Marriner, who redshirted as a true freshman last season, has drawn raves from UConn coach Bob Diaco for his work in the weight room will be joined by Newsome and fellow incoming freshmen Ron Johnson and Brice McAlister with perhaps fullbacks Jazzmar Clax and Matt Walsh being in contention for some carries as well.

"I'm very excited but also a little nervous," said Newsome, who leaves for UConn on Sunday. "Once I get there I have to work hard in all I do."



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