“If William & Mary had been Division I he might have gone there,” Smith joked. “He wasn’t going to go too far from home.”
Newsome stayed in-state, committing to the Hokies on Thursday. He had an offer from Virginia and had drawn interest from Purdue and Boston College.
Virginia Tech might have seemed like a foregone conclusion — his father, Myron, was a second-team All-Big East pick in 1996 for the Hokies and has been touted by defensive coordinator Bud Foster as one of the best players he has ever coached – but Smith thinks the decision was all Deon’s.
“I think his dad let him make his mind up,” said Smith, who has Myron on his Hampton staff as an assistant. “He really didn’t get in the mix too much. But I think he had those bloodlines in him. And he really liked his visit to Tech academically for what he wanted to do — construction engineering or something. He really liked what he saw there.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Newsome plays on both sides of the ball but would prefer offense, either wide receiver or running back.
“I think probably he could play either one,” Smith said. “He’s going to get bigger. He’s close to 180 now. I think he’ll probably play 205 or something. He’s cut real well. I like him as a receiver. But he also runs the ball well.”
Newsome played both positions last year, in addition to quarterback, cornerback, linebacker and returner. He had 15 catches for 462 yards and three touchdowns and added 287 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, according to the Daily Press. He had four interceptions on defense.
Smith expects Newsome to play quarterback next season, doubling up on defense at strong safety.
“I think he’s so versatile,” Smith said. “He puts so many demands on the defense. He throws the ball well, specifically on the boots, the sprint outs. He’s really dangerous as a runner. So I think he’s going to fit in real well like that.”