One of the biggest prospects ever to come out of northeastern Kansas is coming to Big Red country.
Peyton Newell, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive lineman from Hiawatha, Kan., announced today that he has committed to play football at the University of Nebraska next year.
Ranked as the No. 2 recruit in Kansas for the Class of 2014 and a four-star prospect by Scout.com, Newell tapped the Cornhuskers during an assembly at Hiawatha High School, where he has been a team captain since his sophomore year.
Newell, who received offers from at least 34 Football Bowl Subdivision programs, had last month narrowed his final four choices to Nebraska, South Carolina, Kansas and Kansas State.
“In the end, and after much consideration,” Peyton’s father, Frank, told FOXSportsKansasCity.com, “Peyton chose the school that was best for him.”
As a junior, the younger Newell racked up 10 sacks and 37 tackles for loss last fall. As a sophomore, he recorded six sacks and 26 tackles for loss.
A tenacious defender with the quickness (a 4.8 time in the 40-yard dash) and power (reported bench in the 390s and squats in the 690s) to play anywhere along the defensive line, most scouts project Peyton as a tackle in the Big Ten.
The Cornhuskers were believed to be the younger Newell’s favorite throughout the process, although Kansas was perceived to be a sentimental possibility.
The newest Huskers commitment has dedicated his stellar prep football career to the memory of his late mother and has a tattoo that reads “MOM: Never forgotten” along his upper back. The Missy Newell Memorial 5K is held the first Saturday of every October in Hiawatha to raise money locally for cancer awareness. The family was also instrumental in helping to launch “Missy’s Boutique” at KU Cancer Center, a place where women in treatment could purchase wigs, hats, makeup and other sundries.
Scout’s No. 1 Kansas prospect, Olathe South lineman Braden Smith, remains uncommitted, but camped last month at Alabama. The No. 3 prospect, Gardner running back Traevohn Wrench, committed to the Jayhawks in March.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at email@example.com.