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In The Trenches With Jimmy Newell
Release: 09/30/2003
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Sept. 30, 2003

Jimmy Newell has never had a problem making an impact. As one of five freshmen in the UW secondary in 2000, Newell helped the Huskies to a Rose Bowl title, making 10 tackles and forcing a fumble in a hard-fought win over Stanford. Over the next two seasons, however, Newell found himself limited by injury to just 11 games, his potential bottled up by various casts and splints. Fully healthy again for the first time since the 2001 Rose Bowl, Newell has established himself as a physical force in the defensive backfield, making 23 tackles in just four games this season while pulling down a team-high two interceptions. GoHuskies.com correspondent Lucas James Mack sat down with Newell this week to discuss his return to dominance.

GoHuskies.com: To what do you atttribute your health this season?
Jimmy Newell:: "I guess it's just my time to stay healthy. I always felt that I wasn't a fragile person, but I just kept beingsnake bitten by some bad luck. I think that it was time to have some good luck."

GH: Has it been disappointing for you to be injured for the majority of your career here at Washington?
Newell:: "It's been very disappointing. I would always rehab and rehab and get into the best shape of my life and then I would have another letdown and get injured. It's nice to finally put some games together and grow as a player every game."

GH: This summer, did you work out with the mind-set of not getting hurt this season?
Newell:: "You should never do anything with the mindset where you're thinking about getting hurt, because if someone's doing that when they are going in for a tackle, that's when they get hurt. This summer, doing workouts, I just wanted to get stronger."

GH: It must have felt good to pull down an interception against Stanford.
Newell:: "It felt good, because at that point the game was over and there was no hope of any type of miraculous comeback. It was a good way to end the defensive day."

GH: School started this Monday. How will that affect your schedule?
Newell:: "The tough part is that we have less time to watch films, but our coach says his office is like a library - we can take out as much film as we want, as long as we bring them back."

GH: What are you majoring in, and how is that going to help you with your career after football?
Newell:: "I'm a double-major in business administration and economics. I would like to do some financial planning when school's all over."

GH: You know, those degrees could go a long way in the entertainment industry. Let's say you were a rapper, what would your name be?
Newell:: "I would never be a rapper!"

GH: Well, then what type of music do you listen do?
Newell:: "I like every type of music. If it is a good song, I'm going to like it, regardless if it is a rap song, rock song or country song."

GH: What is the best pizza in the U-District?
Newell:: "When I'm out late, I like to go to A Pizza Mart and get a pepperoni pizza with some ranch."

GH: When I was a kid, I used to love to stay up late and eat pizza while watching 'American Gladiators?' Remember that show? It was awesome! Who was your favorite gladiator and what was your favorite event?
Newell:: "My favorite event was definitely the Assault. That was the event where the contestants would hide behind the blocks and the Gladiators were shooting tennis balls at them. I used to love that show! I always looked at the Gladiators as the bad guys - the contestants were so little, that I always rooted for those guys. If I was going to be on the show I would have been a contestant."

GH: What is your favorite movie?
Newell:: "I love the movie 'Good Will Hunting,' but as far as football movies, I love the movie 'The Program.' My favorite movie of all, though, is 'The Godfather, Part I.'"

GH: OK, one last football question to wrap things up. You guys currently rank 15th in the nation in total defense. What has been the biggest difference in the secondary between this year and last?
Newell:: "Last season, we were just banged up the whole time. The freshman group that I came in with was Greg Carothers, Roc Alexander and Derrick Johnson. We all played as freshmen and now getting to play together and not being injured is great."

GH: It's sure been great on the field so far, that's for sure! Thanks, Jimmy!
Newell: "No problem."

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