CARROLLTON - Tyler Newsome is far from your typical punter. He plays the game with personality -- even though his signature mullet hairdo is no more ("Who knows, maybe one day it'll come back," said Newsome). He's stronger than most at his position as well, benching 225 pounds 30 times at Notre Dame's football Pro Day.
He also hopes to do what only a handful of people in his profession can: earn a spot on an NFL roster.
"It's an uphill battle but you go in there to compete," said Newsome. "You know there's 32 in the world and you're trying to be one of them."
Newsome is a Carrollton High School alum, starring for the Trojans before a standout career at Notre Dame. In addition to punting his way into the Fighting Irish record books, he also became the first player who exclusively punted to be named a team captain in Notre Dame's illustrious football history.
Now, he's training for a try at the pros. He works out frequently at his old high school stadium, occasionally seeing former coaches and chatting with current students. It's also a good place to remind him where some of his motivation comes from, tracing back to an unfortunate event when he was 16 years old.
"The car accident I got into was my fault," said Newsome. I cracked my tailbone, my pelvis, my L1, my back, my ribs, I cut my spleen open, had a concussion. I was in the hospital, I remember a doctor telling me, 'hey, you probably won't play football again.' Long story short, I just told him, 'hey, I think you're wrong.'"
Newsome says his faith and his community -- he calls Carrollton a "city of dreams" -- helped him get back to health, and motivated him to be better than ever.
"That was a big wakeup call for me at 16 years old, saying, you really don't know when today will be your last," said Newsome. "I always ask myself, 'if this was your last day to work, how would you want to look at it?' Every day is a blessing, each day and opportunity I'm so grateful for, taking it day by day and seeing what happens."
Next up, he hopes, is a spot on an NFL roster. He's had workouts with NFL teams, and while typically few punters hear their names called during the NFL Draft, Newsome is hoping for a chance to prove he's worth one of those 32 precious punting positions.