2017 Season Countdown: #95 Grant Newsome

2017 Season Countdown: #95 Grant Newsome


May 1, 2017

(image via MLive)

Name: Grant Newsome
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 318 lbs.
High school: McLean (VA) Lawrenceville School
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #77
Last year: I ranked Newsome #25 and said he would start at left tackle. He started four games at left tackle.

Newsome came off a freshman season in 2015 when he was the sixth offensive lineman, and with Mason Cole moving to center for 2016, there was a spot open at left tackle. Newsome was recruited as a left tackle and had the best frame for the position, and he was a natural fit, even if he was a little bit raw. He played even better than I expected for the first four games as a starter. And then Wisconsin happened. Pulling for the left cornerback, the corner went low and took out Newsome’s knee – literally. He eventually walked off the field with help, but he spent 38 days in the hospital due to complications. He later admitted that he was close to having his leg amputated, and his life was somewhat in danger.

I kept Newsome on my 2017 depth charts for a while due to the uncertainty, even though rumors were floating that he wouldn’t return for the season. Jim Harbaugh was publicly saying that he expected Newsome to be ready for the season, but this spring, Harbaugh admitted that they’re probably aiming for a 2018 return. I would love for Newsome to be available this fall, but he needs the time to fully recover. He should sit out this season and be ready for his redshirt junior year in 2018.

Prediction: Redshirt

15 comments

  1. crazyjoedavola
    Comments: 191
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    crazyjoedavola
    May 01, 2017 at 12:23 PM

    Hopefully he will recover and compete for a spot next year, you hate to see that happen to such promising players.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5793
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    May 01, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    The Countdown is back! Wooooo!!!

    Let’s start the season off on the right foot with a good healthy disagreement. The last (first) spot on the countdown almost always goes to a presumed red-shirting OL or another freshman that will only play if disaster strikes a singular position group.

    That’s not Newsome’s case at all. Newsome’s either going to be effectively ineligible or he’s going to be healthy enough to play. If he’s healthy enough to play he’s probably going to start. Of course there are a lot of differences but the most similar scenario I can remember in decent years is a guy who got ranked #19 in the countdown.

    http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2014/08/2014-season-countdown-19-ty-isaac.html

    Now, I don’t think Newsome deserves that ranking anymore than I thought Isaac deserved it, but I do think Newsome is more likely to make an impact on this team then guys #60-94 at the very least.

    I’m certainly not predicting Newsome will play, but until it is ruled out I think you have to acknowledge the chance. Again, there is the Ty Isaac example where NCAA rules pretty clearly stated Isaac would not be eligible and it was acknowledged that a waiver was unlikely. Perhaps Newsome’s injury is too. But if he’s a fully healthy player he’s probably in the top 20.

    The Countdown is back! Wooooo!!!

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3500
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 01, 2017 at 1:22 PM

      Jim Harbaugh basically admitted that Newsome is not coming back this year. When Isaac was transferring in 2014, we were very unsure because he was trying to get a waiver due to a medical situation with his mother. It’s a different situation. If I had been certain that Isaac wouldn’t be able to play in 2014, then he would have been ranked lower. We knew O’Korn would have to sit out in 2015, so he was #91:

      http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2015/05/2015-season-countdown-92-john-okorn.html

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5793
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 01, 2017 at 1:41 PM

        Harbaugh said.” It’ll be a process. I don’t think (he’ll be back) this year.”Right now, we’re hoping for next year.”

        So, I think we can agree the chances are very very slim. Still – O’Korn had literally zero percent chance of playing. Newsome’s chances are low but higher than zero.

        You said Isaac was unlikely to play at the time but ranked him in the top 20 anyway because of his potential impact (even though he was a 5th string RB) at position where M had plenty of depth. Newsome is a returning starter at a position M has gaping needs at. So, even if you think Newsome is X times less likely to play than a guy who was unlikely to play but you ranked in the top 20 anyway, you have to consider that he’s also Y times more likely to make an impact.

        In fairness, that was the worst ranking you’ve ever made in many hundreds of these. The Isaac rank should be discarded into the oops bin.

        I think you are assuming he is zero % likely to play. To me that’s a bit harsh, though far from unreasonable. I think he can motivate the team if he comes back in any meaningful capacity even in an off-field situation where he works his ass off in the weight room. Or what if he’s doing some field drills in time for a bowl game.

        In the 60s or 70s is probably too high given how sever the injury is but there are less important players on this team and I think you’re going to mention them in the days to come.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3500
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          May 01, 2017 at 1:45 PM

          Honestly, I don’t really care that much. I don’t think he’s going to play this year, and I don’t feel like writing 1,000 words to defend my ranking of a horribly injured player at #95. If he plays, hooray.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5793
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 01, 2017 at 1:51 PM

            Wouldn’t be the first time I cared more about your ranking than you do. ha!

        • Fawkes
          Comments: 2
          Joined: 5/1/2017
          Fawkes
          May 01, 2017 at 2:21 PM

          I think you underestimate the severity of Newsome’s injury. As you’ve pointed out that Harbaugh doesn’t think that Newsome is going to play in 2018, which means that a ranking in the bottom 10 is justified. Moreover, not only is he not likely to play but he is even more unlikely to play than a redshirting OL, because while Newsome has experience over freshman OL, he is also injured and it is not worth (and wrong as a coach) to put his long term health and recovery at risk. If the injury bug goes crazy on our OL, between Newsome and a freshman OL, I’ll take a freshman OL for Newsome’s sake.

          Another point to consider also is that you cannot assume which freshman is going to redshirt with Harbaugh because as this year showed, if you’re good enough to play you will play.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5793
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 01, 2017 at 3:36 PM

            I’m as aware of the severity as you are and don’t think the coaches will take any sort of long-term risk with Newsome.

            Let’s be honest – Harbaugh thinks a lot of these guys aren’t going to play in 2017. We will likely see double-digit red-shirts.

            If Newsome is not healthy he is not going to play. A red-shirt or a walk on will play over him in the context. But if he is healthy he will play over most of our OL. There’s a small chance that happens. It may be very very small but it’s not zero.

            We’re splitting hairs whenever we talk about #95 vs #75. My point is that if Newsome’s healthy he’s a huge impact guy. That’s more impactful to a team than a guy who, even if he’s 100% healthy, is probably going to be behind walk-ons. That’s true for some of our OL, LB, etc.

            The statement that “we can’t assume which freshman are going to redshirt” is anathema to the countdown. The whole thing is about making these kind of assumptions/projections/guesses based on available evidence. Otherwise you might as well just make a top 10 or 20 list of most proven players.

            • Fawkes
              Comments: 2
              Joined: 5/1/2017
              Fawkes
              May 01, 2017 at 5:53 PM

              You’re right. It is a matter of splitting hairs when it comes to 95 or 75. I think the difference is on the assumption of whether Newsome will healthy enough to play this year or not. I do not and based on this ranking, I believe Thunder doesn’t believe so either. From your comments, it seems that you think Newsome may be healthy enough to play this year. At the end of the day this is an opinion piece and the rankings do not affect actual playing time.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5793
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                May 01, 2017 at 6:35 PM

                I do not think Newsome is going to play.

                I do think there are a bunch of guys who are less relevant to this team. A guy with a 1% chance of being an impact starter is more valuable than a guy with a 25% chance of seeing game action as a backup against Air Force and is going to fight walk-ons for that honor.

                There are some guys (e.g., Malzone, Paye, Honingford, Hall) who may be FAR more likely to play than Newsome but also have almost 0% chance of making an impact beyond what a walk-on would or could do. Maybe I’m underselling those guys special teams ability though…

                I do not think these rankings affect the team in anyway. The rankings are a fun topic of discussion. Nothing more.

      • MgoDude
        Comments: 9
        Joined: 4/5/2017
        MgoDude
        May 01, 2017 at 2:57 PM

        Hey thunder,

        Would you consider putting the TTB ratings in these countdown posts? I think it’d be a great way of being reminded of your projection of their careers and how they’re progressing.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3500
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          May 02, 2017 at 9:46 AM

          That’s something I can probably do, yeah. I’ve traditionally always done it with the freshmen.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 1247
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    May 01, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    He’s a 310 lbs + kid who had most of what possibly can get hurt in one knee injury get hurt in one knee injury. It’s a testament to our doctors and the kid’s willingness to work that he was even walking unassisted by the spring game.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1748
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    May 02, 2017 at 1:16 AM

    So many good recurring segments around here, but the countdown (and Lanknows’ rants) have to be my favorite!

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3500
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 02, 2017 at 8:41 AM

      I’m glad it’s well liked.

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