WEST LAFAYETTE -- It happened hours after a game, and changed everything for Langston Newton.
As Newton’s 87-year-old grandfather was traveling back from his grandson’s Kentucky football games, he suffered a fall and was hospitalized for more than two weeks. At that time, those 200 miles between Lexington and his hometown of Carmel seemed longer than ever for Langston
“I wasn’t able to see him, which was tough on me because I’m so close to my grandfather,” Newton recalled.
Several months later, there was Newton sporting a black polo with Purdue’s motion ‘P’ logo. For the Boilermakers, adding a standout defensive end was an essential piece of their recruiting class. The news of his immediate eligibility—officially announced on Tuesday afternoon—makes the addition even more substantial.
More importantly, Newton is a short trip away from his loved ones.
“It was more of a family decision,” said Newton.
Newton came to the conclusion a transfer from Kentucky would be best during the holiday season, as he was surrounded by family. Purdue was the first choice and best fit.
As a senior at Carmel High School, the Boilermakers were one of Newton’s top schools before he went with the Wildcats. At the time, he didn’t see the need to be an hour away from home.
"I've always been a fan of Purdue,” Newton said, “and I'm glad to be here now."
Added Purdue coach Darrell Hazell: “He’s a great addition to this football team and I’m excited to have him.”
Newton prides himself on having great discipline and a high motor. Those are a few of the characteristics which immediately stood out to the Purdue coaches when evaluating his film.
"Not only does he do well in his area of responsibility, he can factor down the field and chase and pursue all the way to the opposite sideline," Purdue defensive line coach Rubin Carter said.
Now that Newton has established a base on Purdue’s campus, his focus is all about football. He’s a sophomore in eligibility but will feel like freshman while adjusting to a new team and its philosophies.
"As soon as they can get me film, I'll be happy," Newton said. "As soon as I can get in with the team and as soon as I can get settled in, I'll be joyous. I'm that eager.”
Being back in the state of Indiana has been the best thing for both Newton and his family. He’s able to return home whenever needed.
With peace of mind, Newton is eager to take the field with the Boilermakers.
"I'm excited to be here,” he said. “I really just want football season to come. I really want spring to start. I'm really excited to be with these guys. This is definitely one of the hard-working groups I've been around."