Despite offers from other schools, Westmoore’s Tyler Newton has decided he wants to stay around Oklahoma a little bit longer. The 6-foot-x, 240-pound defensive end committed the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

“I just went up there, I liked the coaching staff,” Newton said. “I liked the guys on the team. It just felt like the right place for me.”

Newton will make that commitment official this afternoon on National Signing day. He will join thousands of young men across the country who will sign National Letters of Intent to play college football.

Newton had other options besides UCO. That includes Central Arkansas and Air force. For a while he was leaning toward the Falcons, but changed his mind after visiting the Broncos.

“It was pretty tough,” Newton said. “I was stressing it quite a bit. But I took my visit up there. I was really liking it and it felt right. After that I knew. UCO is pretty close to home. You know, I kind of had reservations about the whole Air Force deal. UCO is close. It just felt right. I made up my mind last Sunday (Jan. 16). That’s when I committed.”

While Newton is not the only area player who will sign today. His Jaguar teammate Justin Smith has committed to Southern Nazarene University.

First year coach Billy Langford is expecting a few more players from his Westmoore squad to also sign letters of intent at some point.

“All of the young men that we had this year that will go onto play college football are great young men with very bright futures in football and whatever field they choose after football,” Langford said. “With this being my first class of seniors, they will always be special to me. They were a great group that loved the game and had a great time with each other.”

For the second consecutive season, it looks like Southmoore will have the largest signing class. While they will not match the 17 from last year, the six they have set to sign today is strong.

“It is rewarding, but it is more important to me that our players are

better sons, students, husbands, fathers, etc. after they complete their

time in our program,” Southmoore coach Chris Jensen said. “That is the area we hope to have the greatest impact on their lives.”

The SaberCats include Tylor Whitfield (East Central University), (Lucas Stalnaker (UCO, SNU or Southeastern University), Austin Brooks (Wheaton, Dartmouth) Jermaine Tucker (Fort Lewis, Bacone, Northwestern), d’Vante Henry (Oregon State or a junior college) and Kendal Thompson (Oklahoma).

“I’m very proud of their accomplishments and perseverance,” Jensen said. “They have worked extremely hard to give themselves an opportunity to further their playing career.”

Newton said the recruiting period was fun, but stressful at the same time. Just knowing his future is set for the next four years is a stress reliever.

“I’m glad it’s done,” Newton said. “It was a whole weight lifted off my shoulders when I finally decided where I wanted to go. I feel good now.”

Michael Kinney 366-3537

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