Aug 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
While Kyle Brindza is holding down both the placekicking and punting jobs, freshman Tyler Newsome was brought in on scholarship to take over punting when Brindza’s record-setting career in South Bend is over. The long and lanky specialist who handled all three phases of the kicking game in high school, Newsome will compete for that opportunity in 2015 as well.
Let’s take a closer look at the incoming freshman from Georgia.
6’3″ 190 lbs.
Freshman, No. 85
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but Newsome had a three-star ranking on Rivals, a big deal for a specialist. An All-State player in Georgia, Newsome was a Semper-Fidelis All-American game participant and the No. 4 punter in the country according to Kohl’s Kicking School.
A scholarship offer was all it took to land Newsome, who Brian Kelly got a look at during Notre Dame’s summer camp last June.
“We had Tyler up here this summer. We had the kicking camp here, and we got a chance to see him work out,” Kelly said. “Just was really impressed with his versatility. Long lever punter, which in terms of his abilities really transcend the normal punting. He’s a guy that doesn’t come along very often. He’s 6’3″, 190 pounds right now, and he is skinny. He’s going to be a really big kid. We loved the pop that he had as a kicker, but we were most intrigued by his punting, and that’s an area that he’s going to continue to work on and continue to develop.”
It’s hard to get too jacked up about a punter, but Newsome’s frame and body-type seem to get Kelly excited, so that’s good enough for me. After getting a weight-room warrior in Brindza and former punter Ben Turk, the Irish staff is taking a guy based on body projection in Newsome, who should be able to add quite a bit of explosiveness to his leg in Paul Longo’s strength and conditioning program.
If Newsome sees the field this year, it’s because something bad happened to Kyle Brindza. It’s most likely that Newsome will save a year of eligibility and then take the field in 2015, where he’ll be competing with incoming freshman kicker Justin Yoon.
My guess? Newsome will be punting and Yoon kicking in 2015, a lot of pressure on two young scholarship specialists.
It’s hard to get too serious about digging into the YouTube clips of high school kickers and punters, but Newsome is exactly what the coaching staff wanted when they decided to offer a scholarship to a specialist. He’s a versatile kicker with high upside who has shown the ability to do multiple jobs at the high school level, but a guy that projects easily as a punter at the very least.
Newsome will have some responsibilities hoisted on his shoulders soon. But it won’t happen in 2014.
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