The Cleveland Browns are hoping they struck gold with Greg Newsome, their first-round pick who is wise beyond his years and prepping for stardom
When you coach players at any level, you learn quickly which players are more coachable. Much of that has to do with the type of person and character that player exudes on and off the field. So, when I listened to Cleveland Browns defensive backs coach Jeff Howard recently compliment rookie cornerback sensation Greg Newsome II on being “wise beyond his years” in reference to Newsome’s coachability, I knew I had to know more about Newsome and why he is consistently being praised by his coaches and his current teammates.
After listening from Newsome in his own press conferences and listening to some of his other interviews with various media platforms it’s not hard to figure out why he is quickly becoming so likable and a coachable player.
Beyond the coachability, he’s simply an outstanding athlete and I believe could become pretty quickly one of the Browns starting cornerbacks. He’s listed as No. 2 on the current Browns depth chart behind third-year player Greedy Williams. I believe that is only temporary as Williams is coming off a serious shoulder injury and never saw the field a year ago.
The Browns are working Newsome in practices on the outside but also working him in the inside slot position in anticipation that he will play both spots because he can and has already demonstrated in practices that he’s a diligent, detailed, and quick study of a learner.
Newsome grew up in the Chicago, Illinois area and attended high school at Glenbard North High School for three years. Before he started high school, he played both baseball and basketball.
From all accounts he loved basketball, but his family got him more involved in football as he got into middle school, and he excelled at the game. In high school, he played both offense and defense and had a real knack for the end zone. His high school team made it to the Illinois State Football Playoffs multiple times.
By his senior season, he had committed to playing at Northwestern University, not exactly the hotbed of college football but he loved the coaching staff there and wanted to stay close to home and was going to be a Big Ten athlete — not to mention, one step closer to the NFL. He went down to the IMG Academy in Florida for that last senior season of high school to better prepare him for college training.
At Northwestern he excelled and by his last season as a junior, he made First Team All-Big Ten. His ability for finding the ball defensively was on full display as both his sophomore and junior seasons as Northwestern made it to the Big Ten title game each season.
Though he hasn’t intercepted many passes at the collegiate level his ability to track, recover if needed, and break up pass attempts with his speed (4.38 in the 40-yard dash, at the NFL Draft Combine) and good size (6-1) is what got him drafted No. 26 by the Browns in this past NFL Draft.