CLEARWATER – Jerquan Newton has his sights set on one thing, a state championship. The rising senior Clearwater Central Catholic defensive end is entering his second year as a varsity starter after breaking out last season.
“This year it would mean a lot to me if we could go to states and win. Or just going to states,” Newton told Prep Sports Scouting. “It would mean that all the hard work has paid off. Every day I think about it because some of the seniors won’t be playing at the next level.”
At 6’1″, 210 lbs., Newton has gained 20 lbs. this off-season. He totaled 93 tackles (12 for a loss), seven sacks, 23 quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Newton also had seven receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown at wide receiver.
Coming to CCC alongside his twin brother Jervon, a running back/cornerback, the two played little league for the St. Pete Blue Devils as freshmen.
Although Newton said the speed of the game and players got a lot bigger when he first played a high school game as a sophomore, he excelled out of the gates. He had 50 tackles (4 for a loss) and six quarterback hurries as a rotational end.
“It was better than I expected,” said Newton about last season. “The year before a lot of things were different and the seniors helped me out. I know I can make more tackles and this year I’ll be dropping back into coverage more.”
Newton was one of three players with seven sacks last season along with seniors John Chiaramonte and Logan Miller. On top of playing with his twin brother Jervon, his young brothers Jerjuan, a sophomore wide receiver/safety and Jerzhan, a freshman linebacker are up and comers on varsity.
Jerquan and Jerquan go head to head when the two line up on opposite sides of the field. But they also play on the same side of the field which is something Jerquan enjoys.
On playing on the same side of the ball: “It’s good. Me and him are on the side and if I don’t make a tackle I know that he’ll make the tackle. I know he’ll guard his wide receiver and do the best he can on the football field.”
On going against one another: “We both compete against each other a lot. I’ll get mad if he scores and he’ll get mad if I hit him in the backfield.”
The Marauders have gone 34-6 over the past three seasons including a 12-1 record in 2015. However, Delray Beach American Heritage has beaten CCC in the 3A state semifinals in both 2014 and 2015. The Marauders lost in the state title game in 2013 to Jacksonville Trinity Christian.
Experience is on CCC’s side and that is something that gives Newton faith that they can go all the way this season.
“We lost two times. Last year, we lost by a touchdown and we just came up short. We have a lot of senior leadership and good upcoming juniors and sophomores. We think we can do it this year.”
He started his football career at age 9 because that’s when he said he felt comfortable putting the pads on. He initially lined up as an offensive lineman but two years later he moved to defensive end.
Where did Newton gain his confidence?
He says that came in his very first varsity start last season in Week 1 against Berkeley Prep. Newton had 12 tackles (one tackle for a loss), a sack and three quarterback hurries in that game.
As for his biggest strengths, Newton pointed to his ability to come off the edge, his play recognition and overall speed. He wants to continue to improve his strength this season.
Currently, he holds two offers from Nevada and Marist. He also has drawn interest from UCF and Toledo among the schools he rattled off.
Newton is planning a visit to Nevada following the end of high school football season. He talks to players and coaches there often and really likes the atmosphere. Nevada sees him as a Will linebacker.
Longtime CCC head coach John Davis retired in December after serving 14 years as the man in charge. He posted a 54-11 record as his group made it to the state tournament four consecutive seasons including three state semifinals and one state final. He coached nine years prior during his first stint from 1994-2002. His son-in-law Chris Harvey took over the job this off-season after serving as the defensive line coach.
“We have a good chemistry together. He knows what I can do and I know what he can do as a coach. Coach Harvey is a lot younger than coach Davis is so we can relate to him more than coach Davis. He’s really open-minded.”
Newton’s biggest role models are his parents.
“I see them work hard, so I know I have to work hard. They motivate me and push me to do stuff that I think I should do.”
His ultimate goal on the field is to be a successful team leader while off the field he wants to open his own business, perhaps a fast food restaurant with good barbecue.
“The path is the NFL, but in college, I’ll still be studying for business and management and earning my four-year degree. Football is not guaranteed.”
It gets confusing at times with so many Newton brothers running around and making plays at CCC especially with the same first letter to start their names, J. However, much like his brother Jervon, Jerquan is a true leader.
Jerquan Newton is an ambitious and down to earth kid. He is a hard hitter and when he gets open field watch out. More offers are coming very soon for Newton. He is packed with athleticism.
Favorite players to watch – Patriots QB Tom Brady, Broncos LB Von Miller
Playlist before games – Kodak Black, YFN Lucci, Drake
Favorite movies – Boyz N The Hood, Menace to Society
Favorite TV shows – Family Guy, American Dad, The Boondocks
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I’m good at playing video games. If you want to catch me at Madden, I’ll beat you at it. I use either the Patriots or Broncos.”
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “Quan”
Game film: Newton’s Hudl tape
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Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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