Former TCU corner back Josh Newton eager to join Cincinnati stars Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow

Thursday was a life-changing day for former TCU cornerback Josh Newton.

The standout cornerback departed Texas and officially began the next step of his career as a Cincinnati Bengal in the NFL. The Bengals selected Newton in the fifth round of the NFL Draft to help bolster a defense that will face some of the best quarterbacks in the league next season.

It was a surreal feeling for Newton to receive the phone call from the Bengals as it was the culmination of all the years of hard work he put in to take himself from Monroe, La., to the NFL.

“I wasn’t going to answer (the call) at first,” Newton said. “But then I saw the stadium name on the caller I.D., so I said this has to be somebody. It was a 513 area code, it’s not a bill collector, it’s somebody. (Coach) Zac Taylor was the guy that gave me the call and I appreciate Zac and the whole organization for seeing something in me and allowing me to continue my career. I’m just getting started.”

The Bengals are getting a physical, hard-nosed corner that built himself up from a high school receiver to a top notch corner at two programs. Newton transferred to TCU in 2022 and quickly went from an underrated transfer signing to one of the best corners in the Big 12.

Newton was a two-time All-Big 12 selection including a first team selection in 2022. Newton reflected on his first days in Fort Worth, specifically Aug. 5, 2022

“We had a team meeting, all the newcomers had a chance to get in front of the team and express how they feel,” Newton said. “I ended up having the floor last, I was able to share my energy and my main thing was trying to gain their attention, gain their trust in that moment and express what they were going to get out of me.

“This was before my first game, this was the 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 start to the season. It was a just a moment I had and I just basically let my feelings be on the table and put Josh Newton on the table in front of the team. They welcomed me with open arms and we went to work from there.”

Newton’s personality and play style quickly endeared him to both his teammates and the fans around Fort Worth. It’s a mentality he’ll bring to Cincinnati and at least one analyst believes Newton was one of the biggest steals of the Day 3 prospects.

Will Blackmon is a senior football analyst at Boston College that played over a decade in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 2012. Safe to say, he knows a thing or two about the corner position.

“Ok everyone is asking for my steal of the 2024 draft,” Blackmon said on X, formerly known as TWitter. “This one is tough because this is such a deep draft of talent. Some guys could have went higher last year or even next year. But for the people, It will be this guy (Josh Newton).”

Blackmon included a highlight clip of Newton giving an impromptu speech at practice followed by some of Newton’s top plays like the pick six in the regular season finale against Iowa State in 2022.

The post has nearly 200 retweets and over 800 likes. It eventually got back to Newton, who was taken aback by such high praise.

“It means a lot,” Newton said. “I’ve accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time, I’m very appreciative for somebody like that to come out and say that. But I’ve got to prove it at the end of the day.”

Now Newton will try to make plays on the next level and he’ll have to adjust quickly as he’ll be matched up against arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL in All-Pro receiver Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Newton has never been one to shy away from competition.

“They’re going to make me better, I’m ready for it right now,” Newton said. “My mind’s already there. We’re going to get our fair share of work in and they’re going to get me better.”

Newton is headed to a division where he’ll face Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson on a weekly basis plus facing Joe Burrow and Chase every single day in practice.

Newton’s about to be thrown into the fire, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.