Tyler Newsome leaves legacy with punts and personality
Meagan Bens | Friday, November 17, 2017
If Notre Dame football ever needed a spokesperson, senior punter Tyler Newsome’s powerful and uplifting personality would make him the perfect candidate.
From his first game as a recruit to his first time playing on the field, Newsome fell in love with the Irish and views his ability to play at Notre Dame as one of the best opportunities he has had.
“My first game as a recruit, I came up here definitely deer in the head lights, not knowing what to expect,” Newsome said. “I just finished a high school playoff game and we just came up to South Bend early morning, about this time of the year, it was the last home game they played against BYU … My stepdad actually left because it got too cold and he went inside, but I stayed the whole game. And I watched the whole game; Notre Dame won. And I didn’t really have any hesitation even though it was so cold.
“My first game here, my redshirt year, was against Rice. It was awesome. Seeing everything from a different point of view on the field than in the stands, walking in the player walk, I still get chills every time I get to do that. I love that. Definitely one of my favorite parts of football. My first game playing was against Texas. Surprisingly enough, when I went out there, I was not nervous at all. Just kind of like ‘Wow, I’m actually doing this, living the dream,’ and I’ve had the same feeling ever since as I am able to do what I love for the university I love.”
On top of putting some records into the books, such as the highest single-game punt average of 52.4 yards against UMass and the second overall highest career punt average of 44 yards in 2015, Newsome has received honors regarding community service. This season, he has been put on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list and has been nominated as for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
“Anytime Notre Dame has an opportunity to go out and get out in the world, I love doing it,” Newsome said. “An hour out of my week in the grand scheme of things is not that much time. I honestly feel as though I benefit more from doing it and have more fun doing it than the people involved. You always make time for the things that are important to you, I believe. I have been mentoring a young man right now, we meet up every couple of weeks and just hang out. I got involved with him through the Boys and Girls Club in South Bend. I think it has been such a blessing for me to have a young man like him in my life, to see him mature and grow, honestly it’s helped me mature and grow as well. You realize that everything you do is seen through someone else’s eyes. Even when you think no one is watching, I’ll often say to myself, ‘How would my young man that I mentor view me?’ It encourages me to make the right decisions.”
Similar to his passion to give back to the larger community and serve others, Newsome mentioned he would give anything for his teammates, especially the senior class.
“If any of these guys called me at 3 a.m. and said ‘I need you,’ I’d have their back. My best friends since I have been here are the guys I came in with,” Newsome said. “ … All of us seniors have been really close, and I’ve been spending time with those guys because they’re with you since Day One. You develop a bond with them, and it is kind of crazy how some of us have already gone, some of us have transferred and it’s like, where has the time gone? DeShone [Kizer] left last year, and it’s just crazy that our class is getting smaller and smaller and now it’s Senior Day. I still remember getting here and moving here, and now here I am the old man.”
Acknowledging his accomplishments and support on the field, Newsome said his professors have had an equal impact on him in his future endeavors.
“Each one of my professors here at Notre Dame has poured so much time and energy into me,” Newsome said. “It has made my academic experience such a blessing. I thought about it one day, if I’m ever blessed enough to have kids I would want them to come to an institution very similar to this, where the professors genuinely care about you, they care about you learning. A professor that particularly inspired me was Chris Stevens my sophomore year. Just a genuine guy that you can tell he cares about people. He is nice to people and cares for them regardless of what they have to offer, which is what I think being a Notre Dame person is all about.”
Whether he is on the field, in the classroom or out around campus, Newsome said the people here are constantly inspiring him and reminding him why coming to the school is one of his biggest blessings.
“I’m so grateful for Notre Dame. I wouldn’t change my decision to come here for anything. I love this place so much and I will always love Notre Dame no matter what,” Newsome said. “It has been one of the best things that has happened to me, to get to come here and be around students that care so much about their academics. It has made me such a better student … It’s so humbling to think that I am in the same classroom as doctors, future CEOs, people that are going to be running the world. And that inspires me to do better academically because I want to be up there with those people working hard. This is kind of weird of me but I will go to the library and sit at a table or close to people I see studying really hard. Cause it motivates me and I won’t bring my phone out and I will lock in and not say anything. But sometimes I am a little talkative and I will chat to them. Just things like that, everyone at Notre Dame is so inspiring. You know you have teammates here that work so hard, and my fellow students and classmates also work hard to inspire me and better myself.”