Austin Newton, who first scoped out the Vanderbilt campus on an unofficial visit Nov. 12, will be among a good number of official visitors expected on campus this coming weekend. He joins Adam Smotherman and Drew Brenk as the only linemen in the class to date.
Newton will add both speed and bulk to the Commodore defensive line, said Union Grove Athletic Director Scott Mason. As a freshman, he projects as a candidate to fill the hole left at defensive end by graduated senior Herdley Harrison.
"For a guy his size, he can flat-out run," said Mason. "He was a great defensive end for us, and he ought to be a great rush defensive end in college, with the techniques they use."
Newton is a hard worker in the weight room and "a super, super student in the classroom," according to Mason.
"On offense we used him as a tight end, and we even used him some as a wide receiver. We didn't throw the ball a whole lot, but if we'd had to, we could have."
Newton is a talented three-sport athlete who is currently playing basketball and plans to run track in the spring. In football Union Grove made it to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs, finishing the season 9-3.