Adding to the multitude of recruiting news that arose this past week, the Michigan Wolverines have extended another offer to a member of the 2015 class, this time to offensive tackle Grant Newsome (Lawrenceville School/VA). Counting Newsome, Michigan has offered nine different juniors in the past week. However, with news of Newsome's offer leaking out days after it was formally extended, this number could grow even higher in the coming days.
Topping out at 6'7" and 280 lbs., Newsome towered over his opponents during his junior season. Michigan has made it clear that they are targeting physically-superior athletes at every position, and this mentality may be most importantly applied to the offensive line. Grant fits the prototype for what the Wolverines are looking for in a future blindside tackle, and his skill set would translate well in this capacity. Check out his junior highlight tape on Hudl for further evidence.
"I think my strength is athleticism, and that's the first thing that comes to mind on tape," said Newsome. "And from there, the flexibility and knee bend that goes along with my ability to get to the second level. I can also cover pass rushers trying to hit the speed route."
These qualities are what have drawn Michigan into the mix for the big time offensive lineman. The Wolverines have been actively recruiting Newsome for some time now, and he spoke in December regarding his contact with the staff at that time.
"Coach Funk a couple weeks back was talking just about recruiting in general and what they think about me and I've been able to speak with him a few times," said Newsome. I think it's great all the time they make to meet and talk with me, and I want to learn more about the program. Michigan has a great program, great tradition and history of winning football. I'm intrigued by the opportunity."
While most of his contact up to this point has been through offensive line coach Darrel Funk, it was tight end / special teams coach Dan Ferrigno that officially extended his offer. It may have taken a few days for the news to pass along, but there was no doubt that Newsome was excited about this one.
"My coach told me today that he spoke to coach Ferrigno a few days ago." said Newsome. "He said they were real interested in me and that they would pull up my tape with the coaches and get back to me. It's a pretty amazing thing. It's an honor to get an offer from a great school like Michigan."
Since the Wolverines have very recently offered Newsome, his interest in the program is gaining traction, but he would like to learn more about the program. Now that he holds an offer and has had the chance to speak with a couple different coaches, it is time for the next stage in his due diligence regarding Michigan.
"So far I've spoken with coach Ferrigno and coach Funk," said Newsome. "It's definitely a place I'm interested in, so I'd like to meet all the coaches I get the chance to. It's a place I'm definitely interested in and a place I definitely want to get out and visit when I get the chance," said Newsome. "I have spring break coming up pretty soon, so hopefully I can make it out then. But if not, I would definitely like to make it out in the spring maybe. Spring Break is sometime in early March."
At this point, it sounds like his visit should be discussed using the term 'when' as opposed to 'if' he will visit. When his visit ventually happens, there is a certain criteria that Newsome will keep in mind. Like most recruits, Grant is looking for a good environment that can help him achieve his goals at the next level. For Newsome, this means the change to play for a National Championship.
"Obviously I want to go some place I can win not just a Conference Championship, but a National Championship," said Newsome. "Somewhere you fit into the program and develop as a player and a person. It's important to feel that connection with your teammates and coaches."
Michigan stacks up well enough in this regard to warrant further research from the Virginia native. Grant is well aware of Michigan's academic reputation and he is not negatively affected by the Wolverines 7-6 record in 2013.
"I have a lot of interest in the University of Michigan," said Newsome. "I think it's a great school and the football program speaks or itself. I definitely want to go out and visit and further develop my relationship with the coaching staff."
Newsome, who is not against the idea of attending school away from home, does not have a top group of schools at the moment and insists that it is not too late for Michigan to be a major player in his recruitment. This is not just lip service, though, as Grant aims to make his college decision "sometime in the summer". Until then, look for Michigan to schedule a visit in the near future.