Prep Football: Newsome joins teammates to MU
GRANITE QUARRY — Bradley Newsome is 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, so it’s not like recruiters lined up outside the East Rowan locker room waiting to talk to him.
Still, if you play hard enough and practice hard enough and dream hard enough, the door to a college opportunity will usually open up. That’s been the case with Newsome. The undersized linebacker is heading to Fayetteville and will be joining the football team at Methodist.
“I made a visit down there, and things kind of took off from there,” Newsome said.
Newsome hopes to put on more weight and stay at linebacker, although he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him.
“I played a little bit of running back here, but linebacker — that’s what I really like,” Newsome said.
Methodist has a good Division III program. The Monarchs went 8-2 last fall and won six of their seven games in the USA South Conference.
Actually, Methodist has good athletic programs — period. The Monarchs won the USA South’s President’s Cup for men’s athletics for the school year that just ended.
Newsome will have plenty of familiar company. East defensive players Austin Hill and Michael Collins have been headed to Methodist for a while, and East offensive lineman Skyler Rabon also will be a Monarch.
Newsome’s senior prep season got off to a late start. He was injured in a preseason 7-on-7 contest and missed East’s first two games — a loss to North Rowan and a win against Salisbury.
He debuted in Week 3 on Sept. 13 and made an impact as East held on to win against Cox Mill. Newsome had four tackles in that game, plus three quarterback hurries.
Ask Newsome about his best game of the season and he’ll tell you it was definitely West Rowan.
“Even though we lost (34-17), I felt like that’s the game where I did my best,” Newsome said. “I made quite a few tackles, and that’s a big rivalry for us.”
Newsome played 10 games and was credited with 27 solo tackles and 19 assists.
His strongest efforts came in the emotional county matchups. He was in on a season-high seven tackles in a close loss against Carson. He was credited with six tackles in the West game and six more in the victory against South Rowan.
“I just competed as hard as I could all the time no matter who we played,” Newsome said.
The toughest night for Newsome was against a talented Central Cabarrus team that featured Elon signee Anthony Mullis, a tight end who is 6-3, 220 and ran a 4.6 40-yard dash.
“Because of injuries, Bradley had to play a safety-type role for us some games,” said coach Jason Barnes, who coordinated East’s defense. “But he never complained when he had to play out of position and he made some good plays. There were six positions on our defense where he could’ve lined up and done a solid job. Honestly, if you had 11 with the effort he has, you wouldn’t lose many.”
Newsome’s favorite class is history. He’s a good student and plans to major in criminal justice.
But he also hopes to wear green and gold and tackle some people in the years ahead.
“I’m not saying he’s going to go down there and make an impact right away,” Barnes said. “But if he keeps putting in to football what he gave us at East, he can be a player for them down the road.”