Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome picks UConn

Arkeel Newsome runs for a touchdown in the 2012 Class S title game at Rentschler Field. (SPB)

Arkeel Newsome runs for a touchdown in the 2012 Class S title game (SPB)

Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia

Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia

Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome, one of the most prolific tailbacks in Connecticut history, has verbally committed to play at the University of Connecticut.

“It’s a relief,” Newsome said. “Now I can focus on on my senior year and my academics.”

[Read more: Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome picks UConn (With photos)]

Newsome said he informed UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni of his decision late Wednesday afternoon. UConn had offered the all-state back a scholarship last year and Newsome acknowledged that UConn continued to push hard for him to join the Huskies.

“They were real focused on me, trying to get me to commit there,” said Newsome, who said he also had offers from UMass and Syracuse, but interest from about a dozen other schools. “They were saying they wanted me to be their main guy.”

Newsome also said the chance to play close to home, where his family could easily attend games, factored into the decision.

“Playing for my home state, it’ll be a good feeling,” said Newsome, who grew up both a UConn and Florida fan. “It’s close and my family come down and see me any time at home games.”

Newsome said Pasqualoni was pleased with the decision. “(Pasqualoni) told me to now start focusing on my academics, getting my GPA and SAT scores up,” Newsome said.

A three-year starter, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Newsome has run for 6,818 yards, an average of 11.2 yards per carry, and 108 touchdowns in his three-year career.

As a junior, he ran for 2,245 yards and 38 touchdowns during a season in which he missed a small portion of the season due to an ankle injury.

As a sophomore, he was one of the top 5 runners in the nation with 3,763 yards and 58 touchdowns. MaxPreps named him a sophomore All-American.

He holds the state career record of 118 touchdowns and is on pace to break the state career records for rushing yards and scoring. Former Ansonia RB Alex Thomas, who starred at Yale, is the state record holder with 8,279 yards and 747 points. Newsome needs 1,462 yards to catch Thomas.

Behind Newsome, Ansonia has gone 28-0 and won two consecutive state championships over the last two seasons.

He was the 2012 Connecticut Post Athlete of the Year and a two-time All-Hearst Connecticut and All-Connecticut Walter Camp team selection.

“Obviously it’s a great thing for Arkeel and his family,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. “From a UConn standpoint, any time you can land best player in the state of Connecticut it’s a great thing for the University.”

Newsome is the second-consecutive Ansonia back to make UConn his college choice. His former teammate Montrell Dobbs verbally committed to the Huskies in 2011, but wound up at Milford Academy and, later, committed to Temple. Dobbs is no longer enrolled at Temple.

Video: Arkeel Newsome breaks career TD record

Sean Patrick Bowley

20 Responses

  1. ChargerBlue says:

    Go get ’em kid! Hope Brockett uses this season to develop the next stud and doesn’t wear Arkeel out too much. They don’t rebuild, they RELOAD!

  2. Ryan says:

    Actually Derrick Villard led the state in rushing last season

  3. You’re correct. 2,393 Derrick had. Thanks, fixing…

  4. Ole #65 says:

    Uconn is nuts. Kid is overrated and plays in the states worst league.

  5. GO NOLES!! says:

    Hey Ole#65, thanks for the comic relief!
    At least I hope you’re just trying to be humorous, and not giving a demonstration of incredible ignorance.
    Tell you what, go to Ansonia’s scrimmages against ND-West Haven, West Haven and Shelton. And go see Ansonia’s regular season game versus Masuk. You know, all those contests against teams from the state’s “elite” leagues.
    Then come back on this blog and tell us what you saw.
    And how do you like your crow cooked? We’ll put the order in now!;)

  6. Ryan says:

    Congratulations to Arkeel, hopefully he is a full academic qualifier from the start and doesn’t have to go the prep school route. I wouldn’t say that I agree with Ole #65 but I will say that I have seen both Newsome (4 times) and Outlow (twice) play in person. I left impressed by both but much more so by Outlow. Maybe its because of how good Ansonia is as a team year in and year out or possibly because Outlow has the size/look of a division 1 football player. Regardless Arkeel is a great player and I look forward to watching him this season and moving forward up at the Rent playing for UConn.

  7. Marv says:

    Ansonia Fanatics: Using this years Masuk game (no more Milone, new coach) as redemption for 20 years of garbage regular season schedules and awful playoff draws. Ansonia by 30.

  8. 54 says:

    65 you are right. That league stinks. Put West Haven there and see what happens! Scrimmages mean Nothing Noles

  9. Bubba says:

    Nice to see Newsome stay in CT, Congratulations. Coach toots his horn to much about his kids and program. They are middle of the road in most conferences.

  10. GO NOLES!! says:

    54, I don’t think any reasonable high school fan would suggest that the NVL is a good league overall. But great teams are great teams in any conference, as demonstrated repeatedly in the high school playoffs over many years. Because the ECC top-to-bottom cannot compare to the SCC, for example, did not mean that NFA was not among the state’s elite teams last season.
    Not sure what your point is about scrimmages. It is self-evident that they don’t count for anything other than regular season game preparation. So, if anything, offenses are vanilla, as coaching staffs don’t want to reveal much before the games count.Therefore, simple running plays provide a decent assessment of the qualities of a running back (along with the strengths and weaknesses of teams in the trenches).

    Ryan, I agree that Outlow’s size is more consistent with a Division 1 level RB; optically, he looks the part. Newsome is slightly undersized for a major college football back. But the kid is a remarkably strong and punishing runner, in addition to possessing speed and elusiveness. It will be interesting to see how he is utilized in the backfield at the next level.

  11. perspective says:

    First, let me say I don’t think the NVL is a good league, but when you consider the level of coaching and player development that is provided by Ansonia’s ELITE coaching staff, coupled with the number of camps and combines that kids of Newsome and Outlow etc. stature attend, and are evaluated for the next level, it is really just emblematic of the combination of idiocy and ignorance of so many bloggers to simply pour cold water on the kid and the program he represents. So many of you claim to be either expert talent evaluators or buddy buddy with the Rich Albonizio’s and Marce Petroccio’s etc. of the world, yet Steve Fillipone, in my opinion the best program coach in this state over the past 25 years, who faces Ansonia and Newsome at the Yale camp every June, said they were the best team in the state in his opinion last year leading up to the Xavier clash. I am sure he had nothing better to do than pay them lip service, stop it. And for the record I don’t support the Chargers or do I think Newsome will even academically qualify for UCONN, at least not immediately, but let’s at least be objective.

  12. fciac sr says:

    Ansonia must be doing something right even though they play in a water down league. One thing for certain, they dominate the NVL and then dominate the states in their class. There is no denying that and you can compare that to a newtown who dominates the SWC and then chokes in every big game in the states. Masuk has had its share of beating up the weaklings of the SWC but they have definitely shown they can compete with the big dogs of the state year in and year out.

    It is one thing to beat the chumps of a bad league, but to then go and win states is another thing. NFA actually proved last season that they belong as they had a huge victory over Staples after completely crushing newtown by something like 49 points.

    My point is that Ansonia can talk the talk because they walked the walk and NFA has a chance to do that this season. Still think Greenwich or Ridgefield will when the states in LL while Hand will be back for L. Then again, I thought Staples was invincible in 2012.

  13. swcinsider says:

    Joe Pacheco from New Fairfield was better then all of them
    check out his few carries in the Governors Cup game.

  14. Raff says:

    Joe Pacheco was a good player but not in the top 4 RB’s in CT for 2012. Pacheco does not have the break away ability compared to a Newsome, Outlow, Cooper or Phillps.

    Pacheco was not even 1st team All State in 2012.

    Solid player though. Where is he playing college?


  15. @Raff – He’s not playing anywhere, he told me last week. He said he really screwed up in school, “my fault.” Is looking at going to CC somewhere around here.

  16. fciac sr says:

    good luck to Pacheco and hopefully, it is not too late to correct his mistakes.

    I just checked out his hudl highlights and the boy is quick and hits the hole faster than those other top RBs. I was pretty impressed. Would like to see what he could do against or playing with a top team instead of big plays against Oxford, Brookfield and the bethels of the world.

  17. Raff says:

    Playing nowhere in 2013? That is too bad.

    Maybe he will qualify for a Junior College

    and then enroll in a good school in 2015.

    Definitely a solid Division 2 Player somewhere.

  18. FBBBScout says:

    Arkeel has talent but most of his talent is nothing different than any other speedy back in high school…open field… Every player reaches a certain level of mediocrity and college is where it will be prevailed. The only way he makes it to the open field is through a massive offensive line and a balance of offensive weapons. The team itself does play in a very weak league but putting up the numbers doesnt go through just singular play. Through watching a lot film on arkeel he has a lot of good stuff to portray but there are some weakness that I hope UCONN discovers quickly and fix. First, arkeel has to add about 15 more lbs to make it in the College level. Players are a lot bigger in this level unlike the NVL where there are very few. If he survives college he could probably make a few doubters turn their attention towards him.

  19. GHS Fan says:

    Good luck to Newsome. If he did in fact move to Ansonia in order to get his talent showcased, it was a very very smart move on his part, and hopefully he can parley this into a UConn degree.

    I hope further that he does very well in football at UConn, and that he and Casey Cochran get UConn back to bowl games, etc. It would be nice to see homegrown talent competing successfully at the next level, and would open the door to other, future players to get looks and scholarship offers.

    I really think that is the most important thing about high school football.

    I get riled up about rankings because I found that college coaches do not look at a “mediocre” team’s personnel. I think that in order for even AA coaches to take a look you better be part of team in the top 4 in CT.

  20. anotherfan says: