Senior defensive end Jonathan Newsome goes after Kent State University quarterback David Fisher on Oct. 12 at Scheumann Stadium. Newsome will be tasked with defending Northern Illinois University. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
FOOTBALL Q&A: Jonathan Newsome of Indianapolis Colts
Financial stability is just one aspect of the NFL life that’s significantly different from playing at the college level. Outline Linebacker Jonathan Newsome said it feels surreal to be playing on the field with the Colts.
The Daily News interviewed the two players to see what changes they have made since moving on to the NFL. The interview with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Keith Wenning can be read here.
Q: How has your life changed since joining the Indianapolis Colts?
A: “I mean, I went from school and playing for free, and now I’m playing pro ball, which is what I want to do until I die. It’s pretty surreal to me going through my rookie year and actually being on the field and playing. I’m far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point, but I’m just going to keep working and grinding hard for everybody I’m representing.”
Q: You were close to having your first career touchdown, but the play got called back. How hard was it to miss out on that?
A: “It was crazy. It happened to me at Ball State, too, so it’s happening everywhere I go. I scored against Army in 2012 and they took it back. Hey, it’s all right man. I’m just out there having fun. When I looked at the play and they called it back, I realized just how much fun I was out there having. It’s crazy. I thought making the NFL would make it harder — as far as my focus and being able to compete — but the transition hasn’t been hard at all."
Q: You’ve gone from being a fan to being a part of the game and part of a team. What has that transition been like?
A: “It’s good. Just coming from Ball State, where I was a full-time starter and never coming off the field, to never really playing three in a row and coming off the field a lot, it makes it harder to get a feel for the game. Coach [Chuck] Pagano has told me to keep doing what I’m doing, to keep doing well, and I’d start seeing more playing time. That’s happened these last few weeks, and I’ve been going hard in practice and giving these guys a good look. I’m ready whenever they call my name. They’re big on that here … Next man up.”
Q: So you’ve gotten a lot of playing time because of injuries and other things, and that’s all positive. What has your biggest challenge been to this point?
A: “It’s honestly not been a big challenge for me. I just expect to go in and play well, because I work hard every day and play with confidence. It’s not a huge challenge, I’m just ready for the opportunity. I guess the biggest challenge is overcoming nerves and this being my first go-around. Even with that, I’m not nervous about anything. I’m not worried, I’m just going out and playing the game I’ve been playing since I was, what, 10 years old? It’s the same game.”
Q: From what I understand, you got a pretty sizable signing bonus, so what are some things you’ve been able to do financially? How are you managing that money?
A: “We get paid in the regular season, but in the offseason, we don’t get any money. You’ve got to be smart, but it’s a lot of money; a lot more money than some people are making straight out of college, so it’s a really good amount of money. It’s changed my entire life. I’ve given my mom money to where she feels comfortable for the first time in her life, she’s been able to live a little bit. I was able to get myself a car, you know, I’ve been getting rides for two years at Ball State, but I was able to go buy a 2015 [Dodge] Challenger. I’ve taken care of my sister, so she’s going to be the popular kid at school, I guess. I’m able to help my grandparents out. It’s been a blessing to myself and my family. I’ve been able to change my life and the lives around me.”