#29 Sean Newlan
Position: Defensive Back
Previous College: None
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.
He redshirted in 2013, even though he probably could have played at safety, and contributed on special teams in 2014, when he appeared in all 13 games and recorded six tackles, including five on kickoff coverage. He had a then-career-high three tackles against UTEP, and one stop each against Stephen F. Austin, Kansas and Baylor.
Newlan played in all 13 games last season, including starts at safety against Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech, and in the 2016 AutoZone Liberty Bowl against Arkansas. He totaled 52 tackles, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.
He had 37 tackles during a four-game stretch against Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech (9.3 per game) after entering the Oklahoma contest with 16 total stops in his previous 18 career games (0.9 per game).
Newlan set a new career high with 14 tackles against Oklahoma, which featured his first career tackle for loss. He also had nine tackles against Baylor and eight at Texas Tech, and forced his first career fumble against Arkansas.
But Kendall Adams awakening from his chrysalis later in the season and some injury problems conspired to impact Newlan's playing time, despite Kaleb Prewett's benching and subsequent transfer.
Despite being held out of the 2016 spring game for undisclosed reasons, Newlan likely will compete again for a starting spot in the defensive backfield. Other than Adams and Dante Barnett, he's the only experienced safety left.
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 letter-winner 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 still expect big things from this kid in 2016 and 2017.