An NFL touchdown and a backflip to celebrate.
Not a normal Saturday night for undrafted rookie Detrez Newsome, but it’s definitely a night he won’t forget.
“I was excited,” Newsome said. “So I had to live the moment real quick.”
The 5-10, 210-pound running back out of Western Carolina made a splash in the Bolts’ first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, and has continued that success into this past week of training camp. Head Coach Anthony Lynn has taken notice of him and praised what he’s seen out of Newsome.
“He’s been showing good vision and instincts the whole camp, and I thought it showed up in this preseason game,” Lynn said on Saturday night.
Fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster isn’t easy, especially as an undrafted rookie. But the fight is made even harder for Newsome as the Chargers already have a strong group of running backs. That includes Austin Ekeler, who was in Newsome’s exact same position last year.
Prior to camp beginning, Running Backs Coach Alfredo Roberts called Newsome an “interesting guy” and was excited to see him in pads.
“He’s probably the next biggest guy in the room bulk-wise after Melvin (Gordon),” Roberts said. “He had a lot of production yards, which is what you want to see if you go to a smaller school.”
In college, Newsome finished as Western Carolina’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards (6,969) and total touchdowns (46). Newsome now aims to keep growing as he moves into the big leagues.
“I’m learning from the other guys that have been here longer than I have, and I’m definitely learning from the other rookies as well,” Newsome said. “(Ekeler) along with Mel (Melvin Gordon), all those guys who have been here, they help us out. They always correct us if they see us messing up somewhere.”
As the Bolts enter the dog days of camp and players start to get tired, Lynn noted this week can hold the make-or-break moment for players such as Newsome.
“I told them yesterday, ‘Right now if you’re not careful, this is where some guys get better and some guys get worse,” Lynn said. “‘You have to keep the focus and eliminate the distractions.’”
That shouldn’t be a problem for Newsome.
“My focus level and (my) attention to details are high,” he remarked. “I take it one play at a time.”