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Newsome commitment solidifies Lions' QB spot

12/17/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Tuesday night was a busy one for the Penn State football program. 

Just minutes after the university announced coach Joe Paterno's three-year contract extension, heralded prep quarterback Kevin Newsome said he was coming to Penn State. Paterno's new deal undoubtedly will get most of the attention today, but Newsome's decision could also play a major role in the team's future. 

Penn State desperately needed to add a quarterback for the 2009 class after sophomore Pat Devlin announced last week that he would transfer from the school. All-Big Ten quarterback Daryll Clark returns next fall, but the Lions have no capable backup. Newsome, who originally committed to Michigan, will step into the reserve role and possibly become the starter in 2010.

The opportunity to play almost immediately sold Newsome, who plans to enroll early at Penn State. 

"What helped with Penn State a lot was I would get a little more playing time a little bit earlier," Newsome said. "Every quarterback wants to come in and be able to challenge someone for the spot, so I want to learn from Daryll Clark for a year, and by the time I'm a sophomore be ready to take control of the Penn State offense."

There's a bit of concern about Newsome's ability to play quarterback at the college level, and ESPN recruiting guru Tom Luginbill felt Tahj Boyd might have been a better fit in Happy Valley. Newsome certainly brings athleticism to the backfield, and his commitment likely means Penn State will stick with the Spread HD offense for the foreseeable future.