A perceived lack of fit in new Texas Longhorns offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s system was a major factor in sophomore wide receiver Ryan Newsome’s Sunday decision to leave the program, he told 247Sports.
In citing Gilbert’s decision to play taller wide receivers like sophomore DeAndre McNeal and juniors Lorenzo Joe and Jake Oliver in the slot, Newsome also denied accusations that he left because of additions like that of the nation’s No. 4 wide receiver, Devin Duvernay:
“It didn’t have anything to do with any new players coming in,” Newsome told 247Sports. “They were going to have to work as hard as I would just to take a spot from me. I have to compete wherever I go but I want to go play. I have so much to give this game but not a lot of time.
“I don’t want to be wasting the years just doing punt return when I can play slot. I feel like I should be able to showcase that. I really didn’t feel like the system fit me because the guys are more like 6-foot- 3, 6-foot- 4 in the slot and I really didn’t feel like I fit that mold. I just felt like they didn’t want to use me like that.”
The 5’8, 166-pounder caught four passes for 23 yards and returned six kickoffs for 110 yards as a freshman, but didn’t make any catches in the Orange and White game, in large part because he didn’t figure heavily into the rotation in favor of those bigger receivers.
However, Newsome also admitted that he’d been thinking about leaving the program for a while:
Not coincidentally, it was at that time that running backs coach Tommie Robinson, whom Newsome has known for most of his life, left to return to USC.
Now the Aledo product is considering six schools — Alabama, Arizona State, Michigan State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and USC.
The inclusion of the Trojans is hardly a surprise, but the Aggies are a bit surprising, as Texas A&M never offered during his original recruitment. But no hard feelings now from Newsome, apparently, making College Station a possible destination.
Give schools like USC and Tennessee the edge though, because of the Robinson connection for the Trojans and because Newsome seriously considered the Volunteers originally and is close with linebacker Darrin Kickland, who visited Austin on an official visit with the eventual Texas signee in January of 2015.