A Moment with UW Tailback Richard Newton Shows a Player Who Exudes Confidence, Cool

The Husky sophomore running back met with the media for the first time following Thursday's practice session. It went well.
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Richard Newton got into a lot of football games, took on an excess amount of tacklers and scored a surplus of touchdowns in 2019.

Yet on Thursday, he met with the Seattle media for the very first time for a question-and-answer session after practice. Newton made more gains.

After being shielded by the program's rule of no interviews for young players, the University of Washington sophomore running back exuded cool and confidence as he fielded inquiries about his size, speed and hopes for going forward.

Newton had the demeanor of someone very talented who knows it, without actually saying it. Even a non-answer by the back seemed to indicate he believes he has so much more to offer the Huskies.

This from a guy who scored 11 times and rushed for 498 yards in his debut season.

"I really don't know how to describe my running style," Newton said. "I haven't been able to do or show everything I can do. I haven't really gotten into open space. Haven't got into a foot race like that. Hopefully, this upcoming year you guys will see and describe it as you want."

Yes, he's quotable. 

Newton's next move is to earn a starting job for the first time after appearing in 10 Husky games as a reserve and sitting out his freshman year while recovering from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss half of his high school senior season in Lancaster, California. 

It shouldn't be long now. He brings that track record and a solid 6-foot, 210-pound frame to the job, which seems to fit what he's trying do.

"I was working on being lighter so I would be faster to balance it," Newton said. "I've never been this heavy. I'm trying to balance speed and power and all that."

Last year, Newton got off to a sensational college start, lining up in the Wildcat formation against Eastern Washington on the Huskies' opening drive of the season. He scored that first time he touched the ball, bouncing into the end zone from 23 yards out on a fourth-and-2 play.

"I was pretty nervous," he said. "I had butterflies. I didn't believe I'd score and, when I did, it didn't seem real. It was like a movie. Like I'd never touched the end zone before."

He's since had plenty of opportunity to get used to the feeling of six points, rushing for 10 scores and catching one more, while even throwing a 13-yard scoring pass to Terrell Bynum in the Las Vegas Bowl. 

Newton once was a quarterback. He could be the next great Husky tailback. He's off to a good start.

He's so unlike the Washington runners of the past decade, hardly a finesse guy on the order Bishop Sankey, Myles Gaskin or Salvon Ahmed. 

Newton was told that last year the feeling was Ahmed, the starter, resembled the Rashaad Penny of the Huskies, always looking to break one, while he better resembled the Seahawks' Chris Carson with his hell-bent way of packing the football. 

He had no arguments with any of that. None at all.

"Last year, we did well with complementing each other, with working off each other, getting energy off each other," Newton said of Ahmed. "That comparison is pretty nice. I like Chris Carson."

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