Prospect: Malik Newton
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-feet, 225 pounds
Position: Running Back
School: Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor
Committed to: Pittsburgh
Projected Position: Running Back
Frame: He’s as big as you’ll ever need him to be in terms of weight. Really packed in tight like a bowling ball.
Athleticism: Not a burner by any definition of the term but he’s got great contact balance, and defenders just bounce off of this kid. He’s built like a fullback and he runs as physically as one.
Instincts: He has subtle movements that can make people miss in tight spaces and he really runs behind his pads. He plays with a calm and patient demeanor. Has made adjustments for his lack of speed in his running style on big runs.
Polish: This is going to be a tough guy to tackle even on the college level because there’s so much size and power in such a small strike zone for defenders. There’s just not a ton of athleticism on tape, but he’s found ways to make it work for him.
Bottom Line: This is what a bigger back like Jerome Bettis would have looked like in 2020 if he were coming out right now. The only difference is, Bettis wasn’t the bus athletically until he got into the NFL. Newton’s body control shows an ability for a higher ceiling athletically than the label of a bigger back suggests.