Spring Football Profile -- James Newson

April 18, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. - Junior wide receiver James Newson has developed into Oregon State's most dangerous 'big play' threat over the last 12 months. He will likely pass the 1,000-yard mark for receiving in the first game of this season, and has already posted five touchdowns for his career. He is coming off a season where he was third in the Pac-10 for receiving yards with 968, which also marks the second best effort ever by a Beaver. With his unlucky streak of injuries seemingly behind him, Newson has become one of the most dangerous players in the Conference. The following comments are from Newson after a recent spring practice:

Q. Have you approached this spring any differently than in the past?

A. 'I've approached this spring more as a leader. I know the offense, so I'm helping a lot of the younger guys work their way through things, like the proper routes or alignments. This spring has a different feel for me than in the past.'

Q. You were for the most part, the team's lone deep threat receiver last year, do you feel that won't be the case this year?

A. 'I'm looking forward to not having so much pressure on me this year. We have experience and depth at the receiver positions this year, which will make the offense more multi-dimensional.'

Q. Who has made the most improvement in the receiving corps since last season?

A. 'For the most part, I would say the whole group has made a lot of improvement. Jayson Boyd and Shawn Kintner have improved, but really, it's the entire group.'

Q. Has the change at quarterback effected the way you approach the game?

A. 'I'm working with Derek (Anderson) a lot as far as the timing of routes. Derek is young, so I'm helping him with the routes and the skills of the players we have in the wide-out positions. I'm attempting to help him be more comfortable in the pocket.'

Q. Has the focus of the offense changed as compared to last year?

A. 'I would say so. We have some young guys on the offensive line, a young quarterback, and young running backs, so everybody is competing hard for positions. Players are anxious to learn and compete.'

Q. The defensive secondary is considered one of the strengths of this team, has it been difficult for you to work against the first unit?

A. 'They make me work, but I love the challenge. The secondary is a very good unit, but I can hold my own against them.'

Q. What specific things have you worked on in the offseason and during spring practice?

A. 'I worked mainly on my speed and my ability to read the defense during the winter. I also worked on running my routes, especially working on my breaks. I feel I'm making real progress this spring.'

Q. The intensity this spring has been higher than possibly any spring in OSU history. Why do you think the competition has been so fierce this year?

A. 'We all want to win. We're scuffling every day, but that is just a sign of a team that wants to win. People see the skirmishes on the field and think there is some dislike for each other, but that's just not the case. We leave those battles on the field, they never go with us to the locker room.'

Q. Summarize what would be a good 2002 season for you?

A. 'I'm striving to be the best receiver I can be. I really just have one simple goal, to be a better player than I was last year.'

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