After breakout performance against ECU, UConn’s Arkeel Newsome finding success in new role

Connecticut's Arkeel Newsome (22) runs from Virginia's Jordan Mack (37) and Donte Wilkins (1) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in East Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

(WTNH)–Senior running back Arkeel Newsome had a breakout game on Sunday against East Carolina, racking up a career-high 170 yards receiving, including an incredible 79-yard touchdown catch and run that kept the Huskies in the game.

The former Ansonia High School standout is embracing his new role with the Huskies, which has him sharing carries with promising freshman backs Nate Hopkins and Kevin Mensah.

“It humbles you, and it makes you get better at other aspects of the game, not to just be one-dimensional,” Newsome said.

“What he reminds me of is a third-down back in the NFL, that’s what he reminds me of, a guy who can come out of the backfield and catch the ball,” said head coach Randy Edsall.

So how about that 79-yard catch and run? When Newsome looked at the tape, even he was shocked at what he saw.

“It definitely surprised me a lot. I didn’t see it at that moment, I didn’t think that happened, but watching it, you get to see every little detail.”

“You know, that’s really his game, running the ball between the tackles that’s not his game, some people are probably going to try to do some things to take him away because of the productivity that he had, that’s where we’ve got to try to better and creative, and some things to still make sure we can get him some touches,” Edsall said.

So far this season, Newsome has just 18 carries for 32 yards and one touchdown rushing, but he’s got 13 receptions for 255 yards and a score, and is averaging a ridiculous 19.6 yards per reception.

The Huskies will try to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon at SMU. Kickoff in Dallas is set for 4 p.m.

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