Redshirt freshman Peyton Newell will enter fall camp with hopes of earning playing time along a talented defensive line in 2015. The 6-3, 270-pound Newell has the versatility to play both defensive tackle and defensive end and primarily focused on tackle during spring practice. Newell came to Nebraska after a standout prep career at Hiawatha High School in Kansas where he starred on both sides of the ball.
Newell redshirted and worked on the scout team in his first year at Nebraska.
Before Nebraska (Hiawatha HS)
Newell started every game of his high school career on both sides of the ball, and posted record defensive numbers. In his career for Coach Chris Diller, Newell set school records with 257 tackles, 105 tackles for loss and 33 sacks, while registering 16 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 12 blocked kicks and two defensive touchdowns. Newell had 37 catches for 583 yards and seven touchdowns at tight end.
As a senior, he helped Hiawatha to a 7-4 record, and had 76 tackles, including a school-record 12 sacks, 32 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He caught seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Newell was named to the CBS Sports/MaxPreps Small School First-Team All-America squad, and the Topeka Capital Journal and Wichita Eagle’s Top 11 All-State. He was the all-class defensive lineman of the year by both papers. Newell was also named the St. Joseph News-Press Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, earned Big 7 All-League honors and participated in the 2014 Kansas Shrine Bowl.
Newell had 61 tackles as a junior, including a school-record 37 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He added five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and caught 14 passes for 162 yards and three scores. His play led Hiawatha to an 8-3 record and a state playoff appearance. Newell was a MaxPreps Junior All-American in 2012, while earning all-state honors in Kansas. Newell had 76 tackles, including 26 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2011, while adding 12 catches for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Newell was a first-team all-area defensive pick in 2011, and was an honorable-mention Kansas all-state pick.
Newell made 44 tackles as a freshman, including 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, forced three fumbles and had a blocked kick. Newell had more than 30 scholarship offers, including Clemson, Georgia, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, South Carolina, UCLA, USC and Wisconsin to name a few. He was regarded as the top defensive prospect in Kansas by all of the major recruiting services.
The son of Frank and Stacie Newell and the late Melissa “Malter” Newell, Peyton was born on Nov. 18, 1995. He is majoring in sociology and was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall of 2014. Newell has volunteered for outreach work with Uplifting Athletes and local hospital and community center outreach events.