The biggest decision of Ryan Newsome's life will take place around 4 p.m. ET Friday. The 4-star wide receiver from Texas will announce at Aledo High School where he'll play college football next season.
The decision will come down to Texas and UCLA. As of Thursday, the decision is still between Texas and UCLA.
"I'm still torn," Newsome said. "I'll definitely know something by tonight."
A quick chat with Newsome will confirm that his words are not smoke and mirrors. While Newsome has a genuine passion for both programs, he knows he'll have to make a tough decision.
Both programs could use a talented athlete like Newsome. In addition to lining up in the slot receiver position, Newsome also can serve as a dependable punt returner and kickoff returner. He tied a national record with seven punt returns for touchdowns as a junior, and he chased the career punt returns record but fell just short.
Texas fans are hoping he'll join a class in need of a receiver commit or two. Florida WR talent Gilbert Johnson is committed to the Longhorns, and multifaceted in-state athlete DeAndre McNeal has a desire to play receiver at the next level. But Newsome would be a welcomed addition at a needed position.
UCLA also could use a couple of receivers. California WR L.J. Reed is committed to the Bruins, and while fellow Californian Octavius Spencer can be effective on both sides of the ball, he is projected by 247Sports to play cornerback at the next level.
Decisions, decisions for Newsome, who said everything will come down to comfort level within himself.
"The process has been long, and it gets tiresome," Newsome said. "Sometimes, your mind just wants to take a break, but it's really all about how you handle it. I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in. With all of it comes a lot of humility. When those [recruiters] call, I'm always answering."
The 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have Newsome headed to Texas (85 percent) with only UCLA receiving 2 percent of the votes. Newsome said there's a genuine love for UCLA, as the school would give him a new start in a new environment. Plus, playing in the Pac-12 would be an opportunity for him to play in a productive offense under Jim Mora.
And speaking of Mora, Newsome said Mora's been his primary contact. He's built an outstanding relationship with Bruins receivers coach Eric Yarber, but Newsome said Mora has been the guy he hears from repeatedly—an important fact entering Friday afternoon.
With Texas, the triple threat of running backs coach Tommie Robinson, recruiting coordinator Brian Jean-Mary and new receivers coach Jay Norvell has been working on Newsome. Norvell, who recently came to Texas from Oklahoma, recruited Newsome to Oklahoma.
Jared Christopher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram provided this classic tweet:
Newsome said his decision will be difficult, but his pick will be one "steered by faith."
"I think it's whatever the best place for me. It's best place that God will lead me to," he said. "At the end of the day, a lot of people probably won't understand that, but to me, that's what it'll come down to."
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst with Bleacher Report. All quotes were retrieved firsthand.