The Southern Miss football program landed a verbal commitment from one of the Coast's most dynamic seniors Tuesday night.
Gulfport senior quarterback T.Q. Newsome informed USM head coach Jay Hopson and tight ends coach Brock Hays that he was ready to make his pledge to the Golden Eagles.
“We have been texting throughout the day,” Newsome said. “Around 8 p.m., I gave Coach Brock a call and we talked a little about life. I let him know that I was ready. After I got off the phone, I called Coach Hopson and he was real excited. He's happy to bring me in as part of the Southern Miss family.”
Newsome is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound player who will likely play running back at USM. Despite missing time due to injuries as a junior, he ran 135 times for 916 yards and 15 touchdowns last season at Gulfport. He also threw for 633 yards and four touchdowns.
Newsome claims a 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds and has shown nice power with the ball in his hands.
If Newsome does sign with USM as planned, he will become the first running back from the Coast to land with the Golden Eagles since Biloxi's Damion Fletcher inked with USM in 2006. Fletcher is USM's all-time leading rusher at 5,302 yards and 44 touchdowns.
Newsome chose the Golden Eagles over offers from Kansas and South Alabama.
“Southern Miss has been recruiting me for a while,” he said. “I weighed the options that were best for me. I like them and they like me. They have a genuine staff and they have good facilities. It's a good fit for me.”
Newsome will continue to play quarterback during his senior year at Gulfport, but he believes he can make an easy transition to running back.
“I see myself as a power guy that has explosive potential,” he said. “I can make big plays, get in space in the secondary and be dangerous.”
Newsome's commitment appears to be a solid one.
“As of right now, I'm a Southern Miss guy,” he said. “I'll focus on that school primarily and just get ready for my senior season.
“I knew I wanted to get it out of the way before the season started. I can focus on my senior year and have a productive season.”
Hattiesburg cornerback Jadarrius Perkins and Warren Central running back Corey Wilson have also recently committed to USM, according to GoldenEaglePride.com.