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Thursday, April 11, 2013
DT Newell up to 32 offers and counting

By Josh Moyer

It wouldn't be fair to label Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha) forgetful or lacking in the smarts department.

He crammed for a six-hour study session Monday night in preparation of a college-level biology exam, boasts a 95 or better in all but one of his current classes and is on pace to graduate high school with enough credits to basically bypass his entire freshman year of college.

But even the heralded defensive tackle -- with a 3.95 GPA and a 21 ACT score -- can't keep track of all of his scholarship offers.

"No, honestly, I can't tell you," Newell said with a laugh. "I feel bad because, some kids grow up and idolize a school. And somebody will be like, 'Did Georgia or South Carolina offer you?'

"And, with some of the schools, I have to think. I'm just not sure. I hate saying that -- it hasn't gotten to my head at all -- but it's just the situation I'm in. I'm very blessed and thankful."

Newell is up to 32 offers now, and he's sometimes forced to use his smartphone to look up his offers to jog his memory. From Arizona to Wisconsin, from the ACC to the SEC, from the East Coast to the West, Newell has the opportunity to head just about anywhere.

He can remember his most recent offer, Penn State, and the 16 schools he's already visited. (And yes, rest assured, Georgia and South Carolina fans, he's well aware of those schools.) But it's not so easy after that.

The 6-foot-2, 275-pound rising senior hopes to make it a bit easier on himself by trimming his list to five schools around mid-summer. He said he's probably finished with making unofficial visits, but he would like to take his five officials before ideally committing in November or December.

He feels as if Georgia and South Carolina will likely make that final cut, but he's still open to other schools. He wants to keep an open mind until college coaches wrap up their school visits in the spring.

Until then, he said, he hasn't discounted any schools -- including Penn State.

"With Big Ten football, I feel like the linemen always stick out, and I know there's a lot of tradition at Penn State. And that's something I really look for," Newell said. "There's definitely an interest there."

But the Nittany Lions, the 32nd school to add the DT to their big board, might have come in a bit late. PSU hasn't yet visited him, and its bowl ineligibility isn't helping.

"I don't know. That is kind of what you look for and what you work for in the season," he added. "It's that last game to hold up a trophy. So, yeah, that is on my mind, too."

Unsurprisingly, the brainy DT is looking for a good business school first. Second comes the relationship with the coaches.

That's why those upcoming coach visits and phone calls are so important -- no matter where they're coming from.

"Distance isn't really a factor because my parents always told me you need to shoot for your dreams," Newell said. "And, with the offers I'm getting, there's just so many opportunities."

Even if he can't keep track of them all.