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29 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: Sean Newlan

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In which BracketCat counts down the 29th day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of defensive back Sean Newlan.

#29 Sean Newlan
I’m expecting big things from Sean Newlan this season after injuries (I’m guessing) held him back in 2016, dropping his production from 52 tackles in 2015 to just eight.
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#29 Sean Newlan

Redshirt Senior | 6-2 | 206 lbs. | Prairie View, Kansas
Sean Newlan
Sean Newlan
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Sean Austin Thomas Newlan (b. Dec. 20, 1994) is a former walk-on who has played in 39 career games, contributing on special teams while adding depth in the defensive backfield.

He will continue special teams support while competing for more playing time (and quite possibly a starting role) at safety.

Newlan is my favorite under-the-radar recruit from the Class of 2013. Originally slated to grayshirt, he was called up to the big leagues that summer to help fill out the class.

Newlan 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 in 2015, 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.

Newlan had 37 tackles during a four-game stretch against Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech (averaging 9.3 per game) after entering the Oklahoma contest with just 16 total stops in his previous 18 career games (0.9 per game).

He nearly doubled that in setting a new career high with 14 tackles against Oklahoma, which featured his first career tackle for loss. Newlan also had nine tackles against Baylor and eight at Texas Tech, and forced his first career fumble against Arkansas.

Last season, he again saw action in all 13 games, but totaled just eight tackles, six of which came on kickoff coverage. I have to think injuries were a contributing factor.

Newlan recorded a season-high three tackles last year against Florida Atlantic and two more at West Virginia.

He 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 High School, and also participated in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl.

Newlan 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 letter-winner in basketball and track and field.

The back-to-back Kansas Class 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 2017.