Bold ‘New’ World
Published 4:09 pm Sunday, May 24, 2015
AHOSKIE – Ian New can’t fly under the radar.
Certainly not with a 6’2”, 230 pound frame, and not as a Class of 2016 college football prospect either.
Last month, New – a rising senior lineman at Hertford County High School – participated in the Blue-Grey All-American North Carolina Regional Combine in Greensboro where his performance before coaches and scouts garnered the Murfreesboro native an invite to one of the four remaining regional combines.
New will next head to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, VA on May 30-31 as one of over 70 invitees to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Combine.
“In Greensboro I got tested on my 40 (yard dash) time, my shuttle time (testing lateral quickness), 185 reps (weight lifting), one-on-ones, two-on-two, and things like that to test our skills,” he said between summer workouts and P.E. class at the high school.
Richmond will be New’s third combine, having squeezed in another for the Shrine Bowl at an Alamance County site since participating in Greensboro.
But perhaps the Blue-Grey is the more prestigious. Founded in 1989 by a father who didn’t think his son was receiving the proper exposure from college coaches, it now helps prep prospects from all over the country receive national exposure and increase their chances to secure scholarships to a college, whether that be at the NCAA Division I level, or II, III, NAIA or even Junior College.
“If he competes well in this one (Richmond) he could be invited to the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl,” said Hertford County High football coach Terrance Saxby.
The 2016 Blue-Grey A-A Bowl will be held at Arlington, Texas’ AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
“It’s not the Army All-America Bowl,” Saxby added. “But it’s close. Besides, Ian’s an All-American kid by the way he works out; he’s just a great all-around person.”
During this off season New has been training with former Hertford County High grad, Russ Sohooli, a Certified Exercise Physiologist from ECU who’s helped New work on his speed and agility.
But it’s New’s academics that have drawn the attention of Ivy League schools, even though they don’t offer athletic scholarships. New currently has a 4.3 Grade Point Average, is a member of the National Beta Club, and in April received the Certificate of Recognition for Remarkable Character by the Hertford County Board of Education. He is also a member of the United StatesAchievementAcademy and in 2014 was recognized as a National Honor Student for HertfordCountyHigh School.
The schools that have shown interest include Campbell, Elon, Maine, and Chowan, along with Cornell, Brown, and Penn.
“I didn’t really think they would be the first people who’d contact me,” New says. “But it’s been impressive.”
Saxby praises not only New’s football smarts, but also his prowess and discipline on the field. New has played varsity football for the Bears for three years, beginning as a 9th grade lineman. A year later he received “Offensive Lineman of the Year” from former head coach Scott Privott, and for his 11th grade season he was a team co-captain.
“He is the coach’s extension on the field,” said Saxby. “He makes all my defensive calls as a lineman and he’s just that kid you want to bring home and show off. He’s going to be a good force as a leader because nobody works harder than he does; as an athlete, as a student, as an all-around person.”
“He’s me on the field,” the coach added, pointing to New as the lineman was lifting weights. “He has a non-stop motor because he goes all-out all the time. As for me, I can’t play anymore, but if I could that’s what I would be like, right there.”
Part of New’s work ethic comes from his home environment. He credits his dad, John, who played for the late Diego Hasty at Northampton-East High back in the 90’s, as one of his primary influences.
“He always told me to go 100 percent in everything I’m doing,” New says with pride.
Family also instilled a strong work ethic. New has a part-time job at John’s Seafood in Murfreesboro.
“My NFL heroes are J.J. Watt (Houston Texans) and Luke Kuechly (Carolina Panthers),” he confesses, “because they go all-out.”
New began playing football with the Rich Square Panthers in the Creecy Midget League, winning a championship when he was in fifth grade; then came school ball, first at Hertford County Middle School before he appeared on the scene at the high school.
New doesn’t know what the Regional combine – or the Bears’ 2015 season – will bring, he just wants to try; and try to give it everything he has.
“You’ve got to bring the aggression when you play football; you can’t play this game the right way unless you’re mean,” New admits. “I want to bring some ‘mean’ this year when I play; going 110 percent on every play. Even when I feel like giving out or giving up I’ll keep going because my goal is to help us win a state championship.”
And that’s the sound leaders make.