Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UConn teammates excited about Arkeel Newsome's future

Arkeel Newsome's first game as UConn's starting tailback did not go the way the record-breaking former Ansonia High star would have liked.

Newsome lost two fumbles, both in Tulane territory as the Huskies failed to score a touchdown in a 12-3 loss.

While Newsome has yet to made available to the media this season, senior offensive linemen Alex Mateas and Gus Cruz had plenty to say about the talented freshman.

"He's a great guy to block for along with all the other running backs," Mateas said, "Arkeel has been doing really well. I completely forgot about those little parts in the game against Tulane. I love him and he has a bright future. He kind of keeps to himself but he doesn't have to say very much because he talks with his performance but I love him, he is a great kid."

Here's the take from Cruz on Newsome.

"He is a young guy and he running hard," Cruz said. "All of that is encouraging. I don't really care too much about the fumbles. I appreciate the guys running hard. One of them he was really running hard, put a hand down and next time he will probably keep both hands on (the ball). The other time it wasn't really his fault, he was down (emotionally) because he was young but I think that was a good learning experience for him early. Moving forward I don't think he is going to have those problems as far as turning the ball over. He is going to be more game savvy as far as how to run with the ball and that all comes with experience. I am encouraged to watch him run and it is exciting at the same time."

I spoke to Cruz about how his season has been progressing and whether the offseason conditioning work he had to miss because of his cardiac and blood clot issues has left him struggling to regain the form he showed as a sophomore and junior. That was a focus of a story on the Register's site.  

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