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29 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Sean Newlan

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In which BracketCat counts down the 29th day until kickoff with a profile of defensive back Sean Newlan.

Then-freshman safety Sean Newlan (29) helps to take down the elusive (and abusive) Tyreek Hill. Hill was a speed freak, so Newlan must have some wheels himself.
Then-freshman safety Sean Newlan (29) helps to take down the elusive (and abusive) Tyreek Hill. Hill was a speed freak, so Newlan must have some wheels himself.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
SeanNewlan

#29 Sean Newlan
Redshirt Sophomore
6-2 | 204
Prairie View, Kan.

Bio

Position: Defensive Back

Previous College: None

Projection: Second-String

Status: On Scholarship

Sean Austin Thomas Newlan (b. Dec. 20, 1994) is everyone's favorite under-the-radar recruit from the class of 2013. Originally slated to grayshirt, he was called up to the big leagues in summer 2013 to help to fill out the class.

Newlan redshirted in 2013, even though he probably could have played at safety, and contributed on special teams last season. He appeared in all 13 games and recorded six tackles, including five on kickoff coverage.

He had a career-high three tackles against UTEP, and one stop each against Stephen F. Austin, Kansas and Baylor.

Newlan currently is locked in a three-way battle for the starting free safety spot opposite Dante Barnett and vacated by Dylan Schellenberg. His competitors, Kaleb Prewett and Kendall Adams, are formidable challengers, however.

When discussing Newlan, a variety of names come to mind — Jordy Nelson, Ty Zimmerman, Marcus Watts, Jon McGraw. Like Newlan, all of them played quarterback in high school, spent at least some time at defensive back in college and are freak athletes. Fast, rangy, heady — those adjectives describe them all.

Newlan was named an all-state honorable-mention performer as a junior and senior by VarsityKansas.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal while prepping at Phillipsburg. He also participated in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl.

He was an all-league selection at quarterback, defensive back and punter; a four-year letterman in football for head coach J.B. Covington; and a three-year letterman in basketball, and track and field.

The back-to-back Kansas 3A State champion in the 110-meter hurdles, Newlan also won the Class 3A crown in the 300-meter hurdles and placed second in the discus in 2012. I'm expecting big things from this kid down the line.