In terms of numbers and stats, nothing about Kevin Newsome's career at Penn State will change the record books. His 144 passing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns only gave Nittany Lion fans a glimpse of the potential that the Portsmouth Virgina native had to offer. At 6'2, 225 pounds, Newsome could have made the switch over to running back, using his speed and footwork to relieve a feature back. But he was only interested in one thing. Playing quarterback.
While his determination and insistence on playing quarterback has led to his predictable transfer, what Newsome leaves behind is not a legacy of numbers but a lesson in teamwork. That while ones goals may be put on hold for a season, the leadership and maturity displayed through working towards the greater good is far more important than the touchdowns thrown.
Ultimately this is why Newsome had become so well liked by many Penn State fans. Throughout his two years at Penn State, Newsome had sat at the wayside, yielding to a great quarterback, and accepting the coaches choice heading into the 2010-11 season. Not a peep was said to the media when the heir apparent to Darryl Clark was passed over for a freshman. And nothing was said when he was again passed over for McGloin. Throughout all of this, Newsome was focused on "Team" not "I". When he was given the chance to speak out, Newsome was much more content to tell you about his budding music career, or help you find a seat during a late-night McDonalds run. For him, it was all smiles.
Certainly, he was struggling to deal with his status on the depth chart. In all honesty it would be a battle we would all have struggled with. Heading into the 2010-11 season Newsome had been named the starter by video games and magazines across the country. It only seemed natural that he would be the one to grow into the shoes left behind by Darryl Clark. When the time never came, it had to have been a difficult pill to swallow. But Newsome did, and the team moved on.
And that is where Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin can learn a lesson. That when the inevitable choice is made between the current starter and a talented underclassmen, that it is their response to that choice that could very well shape the tone of the locker room. That both men, Bolden and McGloin will be looked to for leadership and guidance in a season that could very well end, extend, or revive and era in Penn State football.
So as Kevin Newsome packs his bags and heads off to the next phase of his life, he can leave knowing that he made a difference. That while his numbers may turn him into a footnote in a sports almanac, he left Penn State having shown those behind him that the greatest accomplishments a player can have are those he achieves with his team, not on his own. That while great players may be remembered for a while, great teams will be remembered forever.
(There is clearly a juxtaposition between Newsome's decision to leave Penn State, and his team first attitude, but it is difficult to place blame on a young man who is seeing a chance to further his career.)