Kansas State had an offer for the 6-foot-2, 202-pound athlete. After an official visit to Manhattan last weekend, Newlan readily accepted the offer and is the latest addition to this year's class.
"I'm a Kansas boy and have been grew up loving the Wildcats," said Sean Newlan. "Committing to the program was like a dream come true. Coach Hayes, the defensive coordinator, what's me to play safety. Coach Snyder mentioned a grayshirt, but said not to be surprised if it turns into a redshirt and I go in this summer. They'd like for me to come in and eventually take over for Ty Zimmerman.
"During my official visit, Coach Hayes told me he liked how calm I stayed throughout the recruiting process. I'm a level-headed guy. I tend to evaluate everything kind of like a quarterback. Coach Hayes said that's the kind of player he looks for in his safeties. He likes guys who make good decisions both on and off the field. He loved my background in track and my speed. I'm one of the top hurdlers in the state of Kansas."
Newlan chose Kansas State over offers from Nebraska-Kearney, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State, and top JuCo programs like Butler and Hutchinson. Now Newlan gets the opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream of playing Division 1 football at the school he always cheered for on Saturdays.
"Over the summer," he said, "I attended a three-day camp at Kansas State. That's when I was first discovered by the staff. I've been in contact with Coach Hayes ever since. Two weeks ago he called me informing me I had a scholarship offer. I was at my girlfriend's house at the time. I immediately called my dad and my mom to tell them the news. They were excited and yelling. I rushed home and they were both in tears and gave me a big hug."
In his senior season at Phillipsburg High School, Newlan played quarterback and defensive back as well as punter. He's also played outside linebacker and wide receiver. This year, despite missing almost half the season with a high ankle sprain, Newlan threw for close to 700 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 365 yards and five touchdowns. Although he only played defense in key situations, he had two picks and a forced fumble. He averaged 40.9 yards-per-punt.
"Since we knew I'd likely be recruited at safety," Newlan said, "we implemented rovers into our defensive schemes. I'd blitz coming off the edge to pressure the quarterback or I'd play back and help cover passes. My best assets are my speed and playing physical. I was named second team All-State at defensive back and first team All-League at quarterback, defensive back, and punter."
Unfortunately, Newlan's high school career came to an end in the first round of the Kansas Class 3A playoffs. He may, however, have a chance to make a difference in next year's Panthers team.
"If I do end up having to grayshirt," he said, "I'll likely stay home first semester. I talked to my head coach (J.B. Covington) about being an assistant coach next season. He thinks that would be good for me and give me a new understanding on how coaches watch film to prepare for games."
As a junior, Newlan won state in the 110 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles. He plans to defend those titles this year and also compete in the discuss and 100 and 200 meter dashes. His best 40 yard dash time is a 4.42 which he ran at the Kansas State camp.