Clyde Newton said he didn’t think many of the scouts in attendance at IU’s pro day last Friday knew a lot about him. He had failed in his pursuit of a medical redshirt, sought because he said he suffered a PCL sprain in week four this past year, and as a result became a late addition to the group of Hoosiers who looked to impress NFL scouts.
But even though what he called “factors out of his control” meant he wouldn’t get a fifth year of eligibility in Bloomington, Newton hadn’t put all his stock in IU Coach Tom Allen coming through for him. Newton, who spent three years as a linebacker for the Hoosiers before spending his fourth year at running back, had been training as if it had already been decided he was going pro.
“I definitely feel like because of my pro day I made somebody’s training camp,” Newton said. “I only need one chance, and I feel like I made the most of it.”
According to IU Athletics, Newton finished the day with the group’s top vertical leap and longest broad jump in addition to an impressive 40-yard dash time. He would prefer to play as a running back in the NFL but participated in both running back and linebacker drills during IU’s pro day and said he would be open to wherever provides him with the best situation.
While playing linebacker for the Hoosiers, he amassed 98 career tackles, half a sack and three tackles for loss. He only appeared in three games at running back, but as a high school senior Newton did rush for 1,938 yards and 23 touchdowns.
No calls from NFL teams have come his way yet, but Newton said he knows people were asking about him after they saw his workout. Scouts will have three years’ worth of film of him at linebacker to look through if they desire, and even though he doesn’t have as many clips at running back, he’s confident his camp film from senior year will showcase his skill set at the position well.
Allen said Newton’s style of playing the position does give him some flexibility and that teams that have schemes including more consistent use of a fullback could be a good landing spot for him.
“The NFL would obviously have more of that than you would get at our level,” Allen said. “A lot of teams are going away from that style collegiately, so I think that would give him a broader opportunity.”
Newton said he’s been getting advice from former Hoosiers like Stephen Houston, Shane Wynn, Jason Spriggs and Darius Latham, all of whom have NFL experience and have been in and out of Bloomington for training.
Among other tidbits, Newton said they’ve told him to go hard at everything, make the most of every opportunity and not overthink the process.
Wherever his landing spot after the 2017 NFL Draft, Allen said Newton has the tools to at least get him some looks.
“When you’re big and physical and you can run like that, that creates opportunities for yourself,” Allen said.