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Detrez Newsome Can Do It All

By BJ Bennett
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More than just a running back, Detrez Newsome is a dynamic talent who has earned his chance.

Few draft prospects in recent memory have had a resume quite like Detrez Newsome's. The Western Carolina playmaker finished his career as one of the most versatile players in FCS history. All that he did, and all that he is capable of doing, should come with a professional opportunity moving forward. Newsome could be poised to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jerick McKinnon and Tarik Cohen as small-school players to make a big impact in the NFL.

More than just a running back, Newsome is a dynamic talent who has earned his chance.  

With 6,969 career yards, Newsome ranks second in the Southern Conference all-time in all-purpose production. His 2,343 all-purpose yards as a junior stand as an impressive league record. Newsome, in all, recorded 46 total touchdowns for the Catamounts, lighting up the scoreboard as a rusher, receiver, return specialist and, even, as a passer.

As a traditional tailback alone, the work that Newsome has done would warrant a look. He ran 620 times for 3,728 yards and a program-record 37 touchdowns, averaging over six yards per carry for his career. As consistent as he is explosive, Newsome became the first Western Carolina player ever to top 1,000 yards rushing in three consecutive seasons. He rushed for 100 yards in a single game 16 times, including 288 yards, a new school mark, in last year's home opener.

Newsome, with his skills as a receiver, fits the modern-day prototype. He caught 109 passes for 962 yards and seven touchdowns in Cullowhee and was, each season, one of the Catamounts' top options in the passing game. During his sophomore and junior years, Newsome amassed a combined 68 receptions.

Special teams is where Newsome could be poised to make the biggest splash right away. His 2,279 kick return yards rank in the top five in SoCon history. As a junior, Newsome compiled 240 kick return yards at South Carolina, a single-game league mark. He, overall, scored on touchdown returns of 100 and 93 yards.
For good measure, Newsome leaves college football with a pass efficiency rating of 1060 as he completed a 75-yard touchdown pass as a sophomore, the only attempt of his career. 

A four-time All-SoCon honoree and a two-time All-American, Newsome has a legacy that will last even as he moves on. Newsome, over both of his final two upperclassmen seasons, led the FCS in all-purpose yards per game. He is Western Carolina's all-time leader in touchdowns scored. As the face of the team, Newsome helped the Catamounts to three separate seven-win seasons, a margin they had previously not met since 2001. In review, there aren't many players that have accomplished all that Newsome has.

Recently, Newsome participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl out in Pasadena. He ran seven times, caught two passes and returned a kick. That functionality comes with great value. 

Newsome's profile is a full one; his potential is just as robust.

Versatility has come with a place in the record books for Newsome. It should also come with a place at the next level.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports