Watson’s influence at Senior Bowl: It’s been 13 months since Jamie Newman played in a football game, so it might feel a bit strange when the former Wake Forest and Georgia quarterback takes snaps for the American squad in the Senior Bowl on Saturday. But thanks largely to extensive daily workouts that have been ongoing since October, Newman said he hasn’t felt rusty in practice.

He threw five days a week with his private quarterback coach, Quincy Avery, and has stayed in top physical shape.

“Football is like riding a bike for me,” Newman said. “It’s a game I’ve loved since the age of 5.”

Newman is one of several Senior Bowl players who opted out of the entire 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along with CB Ambry Thomas and WR Nico Collins of Michigan, Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt, Oregon CB Thomas Graham Jr. and Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike. For all of them, 2020 represents lost experience that can never be recovered, at least as a draft prospect. But Newman did all he could to minimize the impact. He also got a chance to pick the brain of one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.

“I had the pleasure of sitting down with Deshaun Watson a couple times, learning how he game plans,” Newman said. “That was a special opportunity.”

Newman played for Wake Forest in 2019, then transferred to Georgia, but never played for the Bulldogs due to his opt-out decision. Saturdays in the fall were mostly a rest day for Newman, and he locked into as much college football as he could absorb, watching up to eight or 10 games. If Wake Forest and Georgia were in the same time slot, he wouldn’t miss a play.

“I’d have Wake on my TV and Georgia on my laptop,” Newman said. “I just used Saturdays to kind of fuel my fire.”



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