Published July 11. 2013 4:00AM
Arkeel Newsome visited out-of-state colleges during his recruiting process, but his heart always belonged to UConn.
Newsome, Ansonia High School's record-setting senior tailback-defensive back, gave the Huskies a verbal commitment Wednesday afternoon.
"I've been looking at UConn since my sophomore year," Newsome said. "They've always been my number one. I won't say I didn't touch the recruiting waters. I went anywhere, like Florida. UConn just felt natural.''
Newsome has been a major reason why the Chargers have won two straight CIAC state titles. He holds the state records for most rushing yards in a season (3,763), most touchdowns in a season (62), and most career touchdowns (119).
Newsome needs to run for 1,462 yards this season to set the state record for career rushing yardage. Former Ansonia star Alex Thomas holds that record (8,279).
"He has the ability to put the foot in the ground, make one cut and go," Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said. "You look at him and he's a smaller back (5-foot-7), but he's an incredibly physical kid that plays really tough. When you're around him, that's what you start to realize."
Iowa, Syracuse and Wisconsin were among other schools wooing Newsome.
"I like the environment. I like the coaching staff," Newsome said. "I felt really at home when I was up there for camp. Playing for my home state is big, and I feel like I can help turn the program around.''