2016 Season Countdown: #25 Grant Newsome

2016 Season Countdown: #25 Grant Newsome

August 17, 2016

Grant Newsome (image via MLive)

Name: Grant Newsome
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 318 lbs.
High school: Lawrenceville (NJ) Lawrenceville School
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #77
Last year: I ranked Newsome #87 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He played in four games and made one start.

Newsome entered last season looking like he would redshirt. He was listed at just 280 lbs., and Michigan had a veteran offensive line with some older backups. Logan Tuley-Tillman was the backup left tackle and probably the sixth-best lineman . . . but then he got into legal trouble. Michigan tried Tom Strobel on the offensive line, too, but eventually he was needed on the defensive line after a couple injuries. Newsome then stepped in to be the sixth lineman who would play in certain packages. He did okay, and clearly he had potential, but he didn’t look ready for prime time just then.

With Mason Cole’s move to center in the off-season, the most natural fit was for Newsome to slide in at left tackle. The coaches burned his redshirt last season because they thought he had a good chance to be a starter this year, and he was the #1 guy this spring. I think Newsome has some ability to drive block, and I think he has the feet to be a blindside protector, but he looked raw in pass protection this spring. He tends to get overextended and plant his feet in pass protection, so it should be interesting seeing how far he has come since we saw him in early spring. On the plus side, he was listed at 280 lbs. last year and now checks in at 318 lbs., so that’s a gain of 38 lbs. in the span of about a year. The guy is huge. I imagine there will be some growing pains early in the season, but judging from what I saw last year, I think Newsome should make progress by week four or week six. The coaching staff does a good job of selecting and developing players, so I’m looking forward to seeing what type of player he will be in the second half of this year, as well as in 2017 and 2018. If he goes down this year, Michigan could turn to freshman Ben Bredeson or flip Erik Magnuson over from the right side. Since Newsome is so inexperienced himself and somewhat raw, I don’t think that would be too devastating.

Prediction: Starting left tackle


  1. DonAZ
    Comments: 523
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Aug 17, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    It’s interesting that one of the more significant positions on the field – blindside tackle — would be listed at #25. I’m not arguing with the number, I’m just saying it’s interesting.

    Again, I’m no X’s and O’s guy, but I would think Harbaugh / Drevno have things they can do to assist Newsome on that side … perhaps with some blocking TE formations or something. As you state in the write-up, we should see progress game-to-game.

    He has the proper number to play LT. Let’s give him that. πŸ™‚

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1863
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      Aug 17, 2016 at 8:15 AM

      I’m not surprised our blindside is as low as 25, and agree with Thunder’s “what if” scenarios.
      I am though, concerned with how needle Newsome looked against, well everyone he faced in spring. Couple that with my doubts about Kalis, and I’m bullish on Judy how far this team can go toward a championship

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1863
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        Aug 17, 2016 at 8:16 AM

        *just how far… (we need an edit function here)

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 17, 2016 at 7:31 PM

      You can keep Wheatley or a fullback in to block or chip the defensive end, but then you’re sacrificing a guy who could be running a route and stressing the defense laterally or vertically. So it’s an option, but it holds back your offense to an extent.

  2. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Aug 17, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    Like many of you, I kept a close eye on Newsome during the spring game and came away thinking he was not starter-quality at this point. Webb had a couple spring practice reports of position-switcher Winovich eating Newsome up in drills. Some of that continued in the spring game, where Newsome looked like he was holding on for dear life. Even the 3rd stringer Reuben Jones was able to beat him with a speed rush. Thought both Braden (who was at LT) and Ulizio (RT) looked better on that day.
    With Drevno tutoring, maybe Newsome can get it together in a hurry. But the fact that they have Bredeson playing LT (after insisting that he would spend year 1 at LG) now may be a sign that the coaches are still searching for an answer there.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 17, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    I view Newsome as a critical player at one of the most important positions on the field. But the Bredenson hype generated by the BTN guys has me feeling optimistic that he’s not the only option. If a legit alternative like him emerges, Newsome won’t be the make-or-break guy along the OL.

    That’s a red-shirt I wish they would have kept, but it is what it is.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Aug 17, 2016 at 6:40 PM

    Who are the top DE’s our LT will go against this hear?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 17, 2016 at 7:12 PM

      Garrett Sickels, Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard…

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Aug 17, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Here is my top 25 (20 ranked, plus 5 more)

    Irreplaceable (Season Altering Impact)

    1. Cole – OL effectiveness hinges on transition to OC
    2. Peppers – no real replacement at OLB/nickel + every-down versatility + offense/special teams
    3. Chesson – no replacement for his play-making
    4. Lewis – arguably the best individual player
    5. Butt – Excellent receiver, but backups look promising.

    Would Be Missed (Replacement won’t be nearly as good.)
    6. Braden – OL depth is scary. Settled in as a plus starter at OG.
    7. Thomas – key player for D to reach it’s potential
    8. Gedeon – only established LB needs to have big senior year.
    9. O’Korn – Is QB, but unproven one with a viable backup
    10. Magnuson – if he goes down we’re in trouble at OT

    We’ll Live (Excellent players with proven backups)
    11. Wormley – force at DT or DE
    12. Glasgow – things look much better with a deep NT rotation
    13. Darboh – reliable target
    14. Smith – reliable every-down back
    15. Stribling – the corner opposite Lewis is going to be a target

    Swing Players – Need these guys to step-up to win the Big Ten
    16. Charlton – successful move to WDE opens up playing time for Gary and Hurst
    17. Allen – if he really kicks and punts effectively he belongs higher
    18. Newsome – LT is a big deal
    19. D.Hill – sure-tackling safety that can also cover
    20. K.Hill – intriguing option at FB if he can handle the routine stuff

    Just missed:

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 24
    Joined: 12/28/2015
    Aug 18, 2016 at 3:34 AM

    While I agree, Newsome may need some work we have 6-7 games to get him some! I think this is a spot where I trust Drevno, Newsome is a very smart guy (academic background), and obviously physically ready. I think this is a guy that in those 6-7 games puts it together and really isn’t a liability down the last 5+ games. I understand uncertainty is the reason he is ranked this low, however .just the nature of the position (your starting left tackle) would place him in the top 20 for me.

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