NCF On The Trail: Peyton Newell

Nebraska adds three-star DE King

January, 27, 2014
Nebraska suffered a big blow along the defensive line when the Huskers lost defensive end Darius Slade (Montclair, N.J./Montclair). The three-star end decommitted on January 16, which meant his spot needed to be filled.

The coaching staff found his replacement with three-star defensive end Sedrick King (Plant City, Fla./Plant City), who switched his commitment from UCF to Nebraska.

The 6-foot-4, 211-pound end joins Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha), Mick Stoltenberg (Gretna, Neb./Gretna) and ESPN Junior College 50 defensive end Joe Keels (Kenosha, Wisc./Highland Community College).

King likely won’t be an immediate contributor, which is why the addition of Keels is so important. Keels flipped his commitment from Wisconsin to Nebraska and should allow time for King to develop physically and transition to the college game.

Nebraska now has 23 commitments, four of which are four-star prospects and 19 three-stars.

This was a big get for the Cornhuskers as we are less than 10 days away from signing day. Shoring up the defensive line depth was a main priority and King helps get the coaches towards that goal.

From Wisconsin moving up in the polls to a few schools moving down, it was a busy week in the Big Ten and the class rankings reflect that.

Here’s a look at what conference recruiting writers Brad Bournival and Tom VanHaaren saw and some trends to follow in the upcoming weeks:

There are still big holes to fill in recruiting for the 2014 class and top targets still on the board. A lot of position groups are being addressed in recruiting, but not many have been completely filled.

Big Ten recruiting writers Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival take a look at the most important position for each Big Ten team in the 2014 class.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

September, 2, 2013
It wasn’t the greatest first impression for the Big 12. Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa, Kansas State fell to North Dakota State, and TCU lost to LSU in one of the bigger games of the weekend.

But there were some positives to take away from it, including some of the conference’s top recruiting targets shining in their first games of the season. And, believe it or not, the Horned Frogs’ 37-27 loss won’t hurt them for one of their top targets.

Best performance by a commit/target: ESPN Junior 300 running back Chris Warren (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) rushed 32 times for 353 yards and four touchdowns, and also caught three passes for 29 yards in a 52-42 loss to Garland Naaman Forest. Warren scored on runs of 38, 35, 75 and 75 yards. Warren (6-foot-2, 216 pounds) is No. 122 overall and the No. 10 RB. He has offers from Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech and Tulsa.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

September, 2, 2013
The opening weekend of college football and the beginning of a fall evaluation period means there is plenty to talk about in recruiting. Here is a look at what happened this weekend in Big Ten recruiting:

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Nebraska lands DT commit

August, 30, 2013
videoNebraska received good news on Friday when defensive tackle Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha) announced for the Cornhuskers. At a news conference, Newell chose Nebraska over Kansas, Kansas State and South Carolina.

The three-star prospect became commitment No. 12 for coach Bo Pelini, and the school's second defensive line commit for 2014.

Nebraska recently dropped in the class rankings down to No. 36 overall, but this commitment could help them reverse the slide.

Newell is versatile enough that he will be able to help at a few positions along the defensive line. A likely player on the interior at 6-foot-2 and 272 pounds, his strengths are his power and ability to be disruptive inside.

Nebraska has landed 12 defensive line commits from 2012 to 2014, so there isn’t a huge need at the position. This commitment gives Nebraska some good depth on the interior and allows the coaching staff to focus on landing a defensive end in 2014.

A few names, including Rohan Blackwood (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast) and Renell Wren (St. Louis/Lutheran North), are still on the board for Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers now have three commitments ranked as four-star prospects and nine that are three-star prospects.
Big Ten fodder is never hard to find, especially in recruiting. This week is no different as schools start positioning themselves in the recruiting world. Here’s a look at a few programs that highligh a busy week in this week’s Big Ten storylines.

Cornhusker in the making?

Defensive tackle Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha) is set to announce his decision on Friday. He is down to Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina, but it’s likely between South Carolina and Nebraska.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

August, 26, 2013

Ohio State and Michigan were at it again over the weekend in what has become commonplace in the recruiting world. The Wolverines nabbed an ESPN Junior 300 commit Friday and followed it up with another junior pledge on Saturday.

Big Ten ConferenceNot to be outdone, the Buckeyes grabbed an ESPN 300 standout of their own Sunday.

Here is a look at what happened over the past week.

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The latest version of the ESPN class rankings is out, and there are seven Big Ten teams within the top 40 classes.

With movement happening across the board, there are trends and stories developing, so Big Ten recruiting writers Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival give you a look at what to watch within the conference:

Trending up

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Big Ten recruiting mailbag

August, 16, 2013
It’s time to dip into the Big Ten recruiting mailbag and answer some of your questions. We’ll try to give everyone a chance to get their questions answered. We encourage you to send your questions by Twitter to @bbournival or @TomVH. Feel free to email us as well at or

@UMKirwin12: Which teams are in place to pull in the best group of recruits at each position?

Tom VanHaaren: If I can use my own criteria, then I’ll give you a few answers. Right now Michigan has the No. 1-ranked cornerback in Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) and is still in the conversation with three ESPN 300 defensive backs, so I would give the secondary narrowly to Michigan because of Peppers.

Ohio State is right there with the commitment of Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech) and the potential to add Cleveland Glenville teammates Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith.

I think Ohio State takes the cake for offensive linemen, but I’m going to throw a few curveballs for a few other groups. I like Northwestern’s running back haul with the 31st- 36th- and 51st-ranked backs already in the class. That’s two four-star running backs and one who's close.

I also like Penn State’s wide receiver haul led by No. 6 ranked athlete De'andre Thompkins (Swansboro, N.C./Swansboro) and Chris Godwin (Middletown, De./Middletown), the No. 21-ranked receiver.

Michigan’s wide receiver class is also very good, so I’d include the Wolverines on the list.

There is a reason Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Northwestern are all ranked higher than the other Big Ten teams, though. They have the best classes in the conference, which means they have the best players.

@buckeyfan686: If a highly rated offensive tackle commits to Ohio State, do you think they still go after Chad Mavety since he is more likely ready to play next year?

Brad Bournival: That is an excellent question and one that really depends on the numbers. If the Buckeyes can grab ESPN 300 tackles Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara) or Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon), that would give them a force up front for the next four years with ESPN 300 guard Demetrius Knox (Ft. Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) and ESPN 300 tackle Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle) in the mix already.

Add Marcelys Jones (Cleveland/Glenville) and Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) and the 2014 class is versatile as well. That said, if Ohio State can massage the numbers and still stay under the NCAA sanctions, getting an attractive piece like Mavety might be too good to pass up. He’d essentially have three seasons to play two, so yes if the piece is there and the Buckeyes can work some magic, they could still take six offensive linemen in this class.

@MeechignAdbug1: Who is winning the recruiting battle right now (for 2014), Urban Meyer or Brady Hoke?

VanHaaren: If you are judging strictly by which team gained a commitment from a prospect that held an offer from the opposing school, then it’s a tie. Both teams have seven commitments from prospects that held offers from the other team.

If you look at the rankings of those players, then it’s Michigan. Peppers is the biggest at No. 2 overall.

Ohio State has seven ESPN 300 commitments, but five of them held Michigan offers. Michigan has nine ESPN 300 commitments and six held Ohio State offers. There are still some prospects out there who have yet to make commitments, which could swing it in either direction. Defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) still has Michigan in it, and could very well end up a Wolverine. We’ll have to wait until signing day for the final answer, but right now I would say Michigan is leading the race. Who rounds out Ohio State’s recruiting class?

Bournival: First let’s go through the locks, who I believe to be four-star athletes Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus) and Lattimore. After that, I really think inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) is part of this class, as is Erick Smith. Then you have to start looking at the numbers crunch. I think they miss on Prince and Bookser and nab Mavety. That leaves room for maybe two more, though I don’t know if the Buckeyes will use them. I still think defensive tackle Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln) picks Ohio State, and the Buckeyes could take either tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) or wide receiver Noah Brown (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) to round it out, though don’t be surprised if either comes to Ohio State.

@bmartinez51: Peyton Newell is deciding Aug. 30. Does he seem Nebraska bound?

VanHaaren: As you mentioned, the defensive tackle is announcing his decision on Aug. 30 and will be deciding at his high school at 2:30 p.m. local time.

The finalists on his list are Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina. Nebraska fans think they have a good chance, but a few other schools have put up a good fight.

South Carolina would be a tough school to say no to, but Nebraska would be a good fit for Newell.
As football season nears, most of the Big 12 sits in good position with their 2014 recruiting classes. But there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Here is a must-have recruit for each team. These prospects would go a long way toward improving their particular class.

S John Bonney (Houston/Lamar)
6-0, 182
ESPN 300 rank: N/A

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DT Peyton Newell announces top six 

June, 1, 2013
Defensive tackle Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha), the No. 3 player in Kansas, has a top six -- and he said it’s a firm six.

Newell, who claims 34 offers, announced his top six via social media on Saturday. The schools to make the cut, in alphabetical order, are Georgia, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, South Carolina and USC.

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DT Newell up to 32 offers and counting 

April, 11, 2013
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.

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2014 DE Peyton Newell gets 25th offer 

February, 11, 2013
Big 12 offers seem to come at milestone moments for 2014 defensive end Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha)

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One of the top 2014 players in the Heartland of America is garnering offers from all over the country. Hiawatha (Kan.) defensive end Peyton Newell went back east for his latest offer.

Newell heard from West Virginia assistant coach Erik Slaughter on Thursday, and the Mountaineers defensive line coach offered Newell by the end of the conversation, Newell's father, Frank, said.

It is the 21st offer for Newell and seventh from the Big 12.

Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame are expected to stop by Newell's school in the coming weeks and could offer, Frank Newell said. He also said he and Peyton will be in Columbia on Feb. 1 to visit South Carolina for its junior day.

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