Marcus Newby does not look like a Big Ten linebacker yet. But that position may be in his future as he declared this summer for the Cornhuskers before entering his final year of playing Cougar football.
Newby chose Nebraska over Maryland, West Virginia, Penn State, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he looks more like a corner or safety, and he admits that Nebraska is considering moving him to one of those positions. But he says he can easily put on 20 pounds between the end of his high school days and a year from now. And he’s eager to start.
Newby has a buddy at Nebraska. Former Cougar Jason Ankrah is now a veteran, and he has promised to show Newby the way. Between Ankrah and Assistant Coach John Papuchis, another Quince Orchard (QO) High School grad, Newby will have plenty of support.
“Tutor-wise, academic-wise — they offered everything I needed,” said Newby.
He claims not to be looking ahead to Lincoln, but he also admits that he’s working on some things he’ll need at the next level.
“I’m trying to step up faster, recognizing formations, reading keys, reading guards — that’s what I’m looking to do this season with QO.”
The coaches here have so far not treated him differently, he said, “but they do expect me to raise my level of play. They’re keeping me in shape, getting me stronger.”
Newby may have indicated he is going in the right direction when he was asked about what drew him to Nebraska. He mentioned academic assistance and preparation first, football second.
During a recent scrimmage against Damascus, the only one before the Cougars’ opener against Sherwood, Newby made several outstanding plays and at least one sensational one as he rushed the passer, turned and dealt the receiver a punishing tackle from behind on the screen pass. It was a Big Ten play.