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College Programs Hot on the Trail of Newton Junior Kevin Shorter

Newton’s Kevin Shorter loses his helmet on a hit from Cameron Yoe’s Tyler Sapp during the Eagles’ 39-22 Class 2A Division I state semifinal loss at Woodforest Stadium in Shenandoah. (Jerry Baker, Special to

[Updated at 3:37 p.m. Tues., Jan. 22]

Newton’s 2013 football team won’t include soon-to-be Division I signee D.J. Dean, but there’s plenty in the cupboard, including junior standout Kevin Shorter.

The 6-foot, 188-pound athlete who led Newton in rushing and also played in the secondary during the Eagles’ 13-1 run in 2012 got an in-home visit Monday evening from Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash.

“He was gonna talk with (head coach Brett Bielema), but he said he should see no problem with them offering me a full scholarship,” said Shorter, who competed in this past weekend’s Next Level Athlete Texas Top 100 camp in Pasadena.

Shorter said recruiting started heating up for him once Texas A&M offered him after Newton’s 39-22 Class 2A Division I state semifinal loss to eventual state champion Cameron Yoe. Shorter has offers from the Aggies, Georgia Tech, Houston, ULM, Utah, Lamar, McNeese State, and Stephen F. Austin State. He’s also heard from coaches from Baylor and Oklahoma.

Shorter said his early leaders are Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma, which he had also said in a report earlier Monday. Shorter was invited Tuesday to LSU’s junior day Feb. 16.

“A&M, they were saying I could play slot, but if I work out well at running back and gain weight, running back would work out great for me,” said Shorter, who added that he doesn’t care where he plays, as long as he gets on the field. “I want to get some playing time and see what school has a great sports medicine field.”

Shorter had a huge junior season, rushing 151 times for 1,810 yards and 31 touchdowns for an average of 12.0 yards per carry. He also caught 15 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, he had 58 tackles and three interceptions.

Shorter joins fellow juniors Brandon Johnson (1,249 yards, 17 touchdowns) and Anthony Hadnot (119 tackles, 12 sacks, 5 forced fumbles,  2 recoveries, 2 punt blocks, 1 kick block) to give Newton coach W.T. Johnson plenty of firepower entering the 2013 season.

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