Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Top playmaker planning an Arkansas visit
Highly recruited receiver/return specialist Ryan Newsome is planning to visit Arkansas.
Electrifying receiver and return man Ryan Newsome, who received a scholarship offer from Arkansas on Monday, has ties to the state.
His mother was born in Little Rock and an aunt is also from Arkansas.
“We go down there quite a bit, especially during the summer and the holidays and Christmas break,” said Newsome, who is looking to visit the Hogs on Wednesday or Thursday. “So I’m down there quite a bit. I love Arkansas. I really do.”
Newsome, 5-9, 170, 4.35 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Aledo, Texas has accumulated 21 other scholarship offers, including Oklahoma, Baylor, Oregon, Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Texas Tech.
As a junior, he rushed 83 times for 826 yards, 8 touchdowns along with 21 receptions for 532 yards, a 25.33 yards per catch and 10 touchdowns.
“It’s something I was just born with,” said Newsome of his playmaking ability. “My great, great uncle is Ozzie Newsome. I guess you can say I inherited that from him. It’s a blessing. I just love to go out there and do what I do especially in space. I can make a lot of people miss, I just try to do that. My speed helps a lot with that too.”
He’s being recruited by receivers coach Michael Smith, his lead recruiter and defensive backs coach Clay Jennings. He recorded his 40 yard dash time at the Texas Tech and TCU football camps last summer.
“I was clocked at a 4.35, I’m not sure what I run right now,” Newsome said.
Newsome, who recorded a 10.54 electronic time in the 100 meters last year, was the only sophomore to compete in the state finals of the 100 meters. He said he’s heard good things about Arkansas from highly recruited running back Ronald Jones II, who visited the Razorbacks on March 1.
“I have a solid interest in Arkansas,” Newsome said. “I’ve been waiting on that offer for a little bit. My boy Ronald Jones got an offer from them. He told me when they offered him there were looking for a slot receiver guy that was explosive and things like that he told them ‘Hey, I know a guy’. He got me in contact with them. They hit me up and said I was exactly what they were looking for as a player.”
Newsome appreciates Jones’ ability to stay grounded despite being pursued by many of the nation’s elite programs.
“I think that’s why he and I are so close, just how humble he is,” Newsome said. “He’s the number two running back in the nation and it’s easy to get big headed and cocky, but he’s completely different. He’s a different type of guy in general.”