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Detrez Newsome Chasing History

By BJ Bennett
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Simply put, few players, anywhere in college football, impacted the game like Detrez Newsome did last fall.

He’s got the ability that he can go to the house at any time and he showed that today.
~Mark Speir

Western Carolina running back Detrez Newsome is one of the most dynamic playmakers in Southern Conference history. He currently ranks ninth with 5,433 career all-purpose yards, all with another season left to go. With 1,922 all-purpose yards this fall, Newsome would become the league's all-time leader; a year ago, he compiled an FCS-high 2,343, a new single-season conference record, and a mark of 213 yards per game that led all of NCAA Division I.

Last season, Newsome was fittingly named a first-team All-American. He recorded a second-straight 1,000-yard effort on the ground, was the Catamounts' third-leading receiver and averaged 6.6 yards per rush and eleven yards per reception. Scoring 15 total touchdowns, Newsome's 8.4 points per contest led the league. His big plays, including a 95-yard run, led Western Carolina. Simply put, few players, anywhere in college football, impacted the game like Newsome did last fall.    

As a specialist, alone, Newsome is already well inside the top ten in the conference all-time in career kick return yardage. It is likely that he soon takes over that number one spot. 

Newsome, throughout his time in Cullowhee, has been as versatile a playmaker as there is. In addition to his almost-unparalleled production rushing, receiving and returning, Newsome, as a sophomore, threw a 75-yard touchdown pass for good measure. He even has three career tackles and a pass deflection.

The big stage has often been where Newsome has been at his absolute best. Playing at SEC foe South Carolina this past season, he ran for 115 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score, compiling a new league record with 240 total kick return yards. Newsome's 365 all-purpose yards were the second-most all-time in the SoCon and the most-ever against an FBS opponent. In all, the Newsome-led Catamounts scored 31 points in Columbia; only FBS national champion Clemson had a higher total against the Gamecocks in the regular season.

A head-turning performance against nationally-ranked Chattanooga back in the fall was one for the record books. Newsome rushed for a career-high 277 yards, a single-game program-mark, on just 16 carries, running right past one of the best defenses in the country. His 347-yard performance versus the Mocs also ranks in the top-five in the conference all-time.

"I thought we ran the ball extremely well with Detrez. He’s got the ability that he can go to the house at any time and he showed that today," WCU head coach Mark Speir stated post-game.

Game-changing moments have long been Newsome's signature style. In high school, he made headlines with a 402-yard rushing outburst, one where he averaged over 20 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns.

Already a three-time All-SoCon honoree, history is within reach for Newsome this fall. His senior season is poised to have a long-lasting narrative.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports