Derick Newton’s time at Kansas State is over. Again.
In one of the strangest career paths one will ever find, Newton, a defensive lineman for the Wildcats, is moving on from the team for the second time in three years. Newton isn’t listed on the Wildcats’ official roster on the K-State Athletics website. A team spokesman confirmed to The Mercury in a text message Wednesday night that Newton no longer is part of the program.
Yet Wednesday isn’t the first time Newton, a Georgia native, has left K-State’s football team, either.
He originally signed with the Wildcats as part of their 2018 class, redshirting that fall. But he then transferred, heading to Butler Community College.
In his lone season with the Grizzlies last year, he had a stellar redshirt freshman campaign, totaling 69 tackles, the third-best mark on the team. Of those 69 takedowns, 19.5 were for losses. He also collected six sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered three fumbles. Newton had a pair of games in which he notched double-digit tackle totals, tallying 11 versus Iowa Western Community College and 10 against Hutchinson Community College.
Both Rivals and 247Sports tabbed Newton as a three-star prospect. Newton ranked as the No. 15 junior college defensive tackle in the 2020 cycle according to the 247Sports Composite.
When he signed with the Wildcats the first time, as part of their 2018 class, he also was a three-star prospect, per Rivals and 247Sports’ services. That year, he ranked as the No. 149 player in the state of Georgia in the 247Sports Composite.
During his career at Coffee High School in Douglas, Ga., Newton was a first-team all-state performer as both a junior and senior by the Georgia Sports Writers Association, while he earned first-team honors from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution and the Associated Press in 2017. He was the Georgia High School Association’s All-Region 1, Class AAAAAA Defensive Player of the Year after notching 93 tackles and 11 sacks. According to Maxpreps, Newton ended his high school career with 201 total tackles (187 solo), 34 sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
He was a key piece in helping Coffee to a 10-4 record in 2017, advancing to its first state championship game in school history, where it fell to Lee County, 28-21, in overtime.
Though Newton didn’t play any downs for the Wildcats during his redshirt season in 2018, he did participate in both games the team has played this fall. He had one tackle and one quarterback hurry, both coming in K-State’s opening-game loss to Arkansas State on Sept. 12.
During a press conference earlier this month, Joe Klanderman noted Newton was among a quartet of newcomers on the defensive line to watch for in the future.
“You’re going to see D. Hentz (Robert Hentz II) inside, you’ll see Derick Newton inside — both guys who are new to the program,” said Klanderman, who is in his first season as K-State’s defensive coordinator. “You’re going to see Felix Anudike, new to the program. You’re going to see Kirmari Gainous, new to the program.
“All guys who have been practicing with us for about three weeks. We feel great about where they are, feel great about where they are physically, feel good about where they are mentally. I’m excited to get those guys out there and see how they perform in the heat.”