CARMEL -- Kentucky wasn't even on Morgan Newton's short list of colleges, until he saw the Wildcats knock off in-state rival Louisville last fall.
Then, after "a lot of processing" his possibilities, the quarterback at Indiana's top-ranked and defending Class 5A champion Carmel High School decided he would head to Lexington next year.
"Originally, we weren't really looking at Kentucky," Newton said Thursday in announcing his college choice at the high school. "We were looking at Louisville. We went down to the Kentucky-Louisville game and we decided Kentucky was a really nice place and we loved a lot of things that they were doing in Lexington.
"We sat and talked to them, and we feel comfortable with those coaches as well as the style of play they have, and we feel that will benefit us," Newton said.
Carmel coach Mo Moriarity said the 6-foot-4 senior wanted to play in the Southeastern Conference and was impressed with Kentucky's offensive coordinator Joker Phillips, who agreed in January to become Rich Brooks' eventual successor as coach. Before Kentucky moved to the top of his list of possibilities, he also was considering Indiana, Purdue, Florida and Clemson, Moriarity said.
Newton was a first-team All-State selection by The Associated Press last season, when he passed for 1,854 yards and 25 touchdowns and ran for 743 yards and 11 TDs in leading the Greyhounds to their sixth state championship.
Carmel's opener Saturday against Class 4A's No. 1 Indianapolis Cathedral is to be televised nationally on ESPN.