April 25, 2008

Analyst: Newsome akin to Donovan McNabb

Michigan's most recent commitment, four-star Chesapeake, Va., quarterback Kevin Newsome, fits the role of the dual-threat signal-caller U-M has sought since Rich Rodriguez was named head coach. Albeit, with a slight twist …

"Kevin is a better pure passer than [West Virginia's] Pat White," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said, of the 6-3, 210-pounder. "I think Michigan will utilize him like Pat, but pass more, which makes him more of a threat.

"I compare Kevin more accurately to Donovan McNabb when he was at Syracuse. He was a big, physical quarterback that could throw but ran the freeze option too and when he needed to, could tuck it and become a dangerous ball carrier.

"The play that I always liked from McNabb was when he ran down the line like it was an option, then stopped, dropped three steps and hit a receiver in stride. It always screwed up the defense and it's an ability that a kid like Kevin Newsome has. Now, whether he develops into a McNabb-like player or not, you don't know, but he has that type of talent."

Newsome may not be the runner incoming freshman quarterback Justin Feagin is, or that of White, but he can run. He recorded a time of 7.35 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles this past winter, which isn't among the nation's elite, but is still a very good time.

"His work in track has really added an explosive element to his game," Farrell said. "But he's not a runner that can throw. He's definitely a pro-style quarterback that can run. Hell be more comfortable dropping back and looking to throw first, and then if needed, or if the play calls for it, run."

The No. 39 player nationally, Newsome is the third Michigan commitment ranked among the top-50 prospects in the country, joining five-star Detroit defensive tackle Will Campbell (No. 23) and four-star Massillon, Ohio, defensive back Justin Turner (No. 47). Expect more top-end recruits to find their way to Ann Arbor with Newsome's commitment.

"He's not a kid that will go out and recruit - he's a quiet kid so I don't think he'll be making phone calls - but everyone wants to play with great players and he's a great player," Farrell said. "He'll be able to help because of his name recognition."

Farrell expects Newsome to enroll early, which would help the four-star fight for playing time as early as his true freshman campaign.

"I don't know that any freshman is truly ready to start from day one - Chad Henne did it because he had to," Farrell said. "Usually that much responsibility ruins a kid. No one is ready for that. But Kevin is a kid that could be contributing when he's a freshman and maybe making a bigger impact as the season unfolds."

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