Parkway has pair of solid LBs in Newman, Mayweather

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

Not many high school football teams go into a season with two potential all-state linebackers who can both be used all over the field (all linebacker spots), but that’s what Parkway coach Coy Brotherton has with a talented Class of 2023 set of linebackers in Barrett Newman who is 6-2, 215 and Ray Mayweather at 6-1, 205.

I saw Newman play on film on special teams as early as the 2020 season and knew then he had something to him talent-wise. This is someone who runs a legit 4.7 40 and looks faster on the field as a football player. I love his high effort every play and admire that at one time he was a four-sport athlete at Parkway.

I see Newman as a true mike linebacker in college with the ability to beef up to 225 or 230 pounds because he has the height to put on good weight and keep his speed. With that combo, he could have a career at the FBS or FCS level.

I saw Mayweather play as far back as 2020, also at Mansfield; he was a freshman and the best player on the field back then. He moved to defense in Week 5 in 2021 and had 12 1/2 sacks; he also had 50 1/2 tackles, three fumble recoveries, 22 1/2 tackles for loss and three blocked kicks.  That’s production.

He’s a football player who rushes the passer off the edge with 4.6 speed but has the size for outside linebacker in college. He can either gain more weight and get up to 225 or 230, keep his speed, play buck/outside linebacker as a rusher, or he could go to outside linebacker and would need only maybe 10 more pounds of muscle to make that move; that would put him at 6-1, 215.

Mayweather would be a steal for any FCS program and can prove FBS programs wrong if they don’t offer him because they’re looking for 6-3 to 6-5 defensive ends who rush the passer at 250 to 275 pounds. The best pass rusher I ever saw come out of Louisiana was a guy named Greg Gathers from East St. John in LaPlace; he stood 6-0 and weighed 240 and went on to Georgia Tech and made All-American with over 30 career sacks.

Brotherton doesn’t mince words when he says Newman is what makes his defense go.

“Barrett is going to be a three-year starter for us in baseball and football,” said Brotherton. “He is a natural leader that makes our defense click. He reacts fast, plays downhill, and will hit you.”

Linebacker coach Chris Kennady thinks Newman will have a great season for the Panthers.

“Barrett is the type of kid you would like to build your program around,” said Kennady. “He led the team in tackles last year with 93 total. I expect another big year from him this year. He’s had a great offseason and that will carry over to this season. Barrett is also a great student, leader and of course a great football player.”

Brotherton says Mayweather plays at a high rate of speed.

“Ray moved over to defense last year,” said Brotherton. “He ended the season with 12 1/2 sacks coming off the edge in our 4-3 defense. Ray has one of the highest motors in all of Class 5A. He is fast and plays 100 miles per hour.”

Kennady sees Mayweather as one of the top players in Class 5A if he plays like they expect.

“Ray — ‘Nasty 19’ as he likes to be called — is an incredible player,” said Kennady. “If he has the year we expect from him, there will be a ton more offers coming his way in 2022. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with this year in Class 5A.”

When it comes to looking into the future, Mayweather has some in-state programs in mind.

“Some of the colleges I like are Grambling State, Southern University and LSU,” said Mayweather. “I grew up watching those schools play and it’ll be a dream come true to be a part of one of those programs in the end of my recruiting. I can sum up what I like about football and that’s (winning games).”

Notes on Ray Mayweather: In the classroom he has a GPA of 3.6 and an ACT score of 18.

His “most recent family to play college football,” he said, are Arkez Cooper in 2017 and Deuntae Youngblood in 2020, both at Grambling State.

Mayweather likes playing Madden video games and football.

He attended the Grambling State camp over the summer.

Mayweather would like to major in sports medicine or kinesiology in college.

Notes on Barrett Newman: Newman’s dad played football for Army at West Point.

His hobbies are “working out to get stronger on the field and learning about history, especially wars because it is interesting.”

His favorite colleges are “Arkansas, Liberty and Louisiana Tech because they talk to me the most.

“I hit the camp circuit hard this summer and went to 13 camps and also had some visits,” said Newman. “Arkansas, Army, Yale, Penn, TCU, ULM, and UAB are some of the colleges I went to. What I like most about football is it’s legal to be able to hit the opposing team. You can play tough as much as you want and nobody can do anything about it — it’s football.”

Newman has a GPA of 4.1 and an ACT score of 24.

He wants to major in biology and go into med school and “become an orthopedic surgeon and perform Tommy John surgeries on MLB players,” he said.

Newman on playing other sports: “I also play baseball and I skipped out on playing with my National Team this summer to hit the football camp circuit and get bigger and faster. I play outfield in baseball and I’m very good at tracking balls down and making big plays.”

Contact Lee at lbrecheen@aol.com