Football: Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome declares for 2021 NFL Draft

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Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Greg Newsome II defends against the deep ball. The junior cornerback has declared for the NFL Draft.

Drew Schott, Assistant Sports Editor


Football


Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II is declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.

“To my teammates you guys have taught me what a brotherhood is all about and I love you guys with all my heart,” Newsome wrote Monday. “With that being said, I am ready to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft and forego my senior season at Northwestern.”

The news was first reported by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.

A consensus All-Big Ten First Team selection, the junior led the Big Ten in passes defended and reeled in his first career interception against Wisconsin. In his most impressive performance of the season, Newsome held Purdue’s star receiver David Bell to under 100 yards for the first time in five games.

Newsome is the first Wildcats player to declare for the NFL Draft after three years on campus since Darnell Autry in 1996. He is also only the second player in the Pat Fitzgerald era to leave for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining after current Indianapolis Colts linebacker Anthony Walker in 2017.

Newsome suffered a groin injury in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game that will prevent him from playing in the Citrus Bowl against Auburn on New Year’s Day. According to Thamel, he was “100 percent committed” to participating in the Wildcats’ bowl game before suffering the injury.

Thamel reported that coach Pat Fitzgerald recommended Newsome declare for the draft.

“Being a real man and the real person he is, he said, ‘If you were my son, I would tell you to leave,’” Newsome told Yahoo Sports. “When he told me that, I was committed and ready to take the next step to the NFL. There’s no other coach in the country that I’d rather play for.”

Newsome finished his three-year career with 71 tackles, 25 defended passes, one interception, one fumble recovery and a half tackle-for-loss.

He is ranked as the tenth-best cornerback in the draft by Dane Brugler of The Athletic.

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