Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Newsome making an impact at UConn

Having seen Arkeel Newsome play probably 10-12 times when he was setting countless state rushing and scoring records at Ansonia High I figured it was just a matter of time before he took off on a dazzling run at UConn..

It happened in the third quarter of Saturday's loss to Temple when Newsome raced 74 yards after catching a pass from Chandler Whitmer.

The touchdown was the longest offensive touchdown for UConn since Shakim Phillips' 75-yard touchdown catch in game 2 against Maryland last year. With Newsome rushing seven times for 30 yards and finishing with 77 yards on a pair of receptions, he finished with 107 yards of total offense and the last true freshman at UConn to total more than 100 rushing and receiving yards in the same game since Brad Kanuch had three catches for 98 yards and one run for seven yards against Cincinnati on Nov. 25, 2006.

Apparently true freshmen aren't available to speak to the media this season since I requested Alec Bloom after he scored his first career touchdown and Newsome at the media availability session last Tuesday and neither one of them was made available so I can not give you Newsome's reaction to the biggest play of his young career but others have been talking up Newsome and fellow true freshman Ron Johnson.

"That was definitely cool," UConn senior receiver Deshon Foxx said. "I was very happy that he was able to get the touchdown especially as a freshman to show what he could do. He got into the open field, he made a couple people miss and he was in the end zone quick. That is another weapon we have.

"He doesn't complain, he doesn't say anything he just whatever you tell him to do he does to the best of his ability. I am proud of him and happy to have him on our team."

Redshirt freshman tailback Josh Marriner had this to say about Johnson and Newsome when I asked about them last week.

"They are progressing well, they kind of got thrown into this with the running back only have two (returning players) so it is great to have them on the team, great for them to step up to the challenge and do what they need to do so it has been a great asset."

Newsome was named the Register's Male Athlete of the Year at a banquet just a couple of days before he left for UConn so I caught up with Newsome then to get his thoughts on what awaited him at UConn.

"The new coaching staff, I love them, they are all great guys," Newsome said. "The freshman class is great too, I have kept in touch with a few of them so I am looking forward to being up there with that group of players.

"There is definitely a lot of talent and I will be working as hard as I can. I definitely think (he could make an impact this season) so hopefully I will."



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