Another Newton impressive at Friday Night Lights


Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 4:20 p.m.

Senior-to-be quarterback Morgan Newton is looking to follow in the footsteps of current Florida quarterback Cameron Newton.

Like the elder Newton, Morgan is looking to rise up from obscurity this summer by impressing at summer camps before his season begins like Cameron did last year. Cameron’s performance at last year’s Friday Night Lights camp helped him earn an offer from the Gators and his stock shot up on all the recruiting rankings.

Now it’s time for this year’s Newton to try and do the same.

FNL gave UF coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Dan Mullen a chance to take a look at the Carmel, Ind., quarterback up close and he was easily one of the top passers at the camp.

Newton wasn’t spectacular, but he was the most consistent passer of the night and showed some of the best footwork coming out of his stance. It didn’t hurt that he had some of the most athletic players he’s ever thrown to present.

“I’ve never thrown to a group of receivers that are so good and so fast, so quick and play the game so well,” said Newton, a three-star pro-style quarterback and the No. 2 overall prospect in Indiana, according to Rivals.com. “You have a good time out here and they make it easy on you so you feel like you’re with the top tier (players).”

While Florida has locked up a quarterback in the 2010 class – Venice, Fla., prospect Trey Burton – Newton is still interested in what UF has to offer.

“The one thing they always mention is first-round draft pick, Heisman Trophy winner, national championship and those are things you want to be a part of,” said the 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal caller. “You’d think it’d be an easy sell, but then you keep hearing from some other good schools too.”

His top schools include UF, Clemson, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. No school stands out at the moment, but he said Indiana and Purdue communicate with him the most.

UF might have the prestige that Newton is looking for in a school, but the spread offense could take some getting used to. He’s used to a more pro-style offense and admits that he’s not the fastest of quarterbacks, but he believes he could more than hold his own in the spread.

“I feel like I can adapt and with the exceptional type of athletes that are here, I feel like the transition would be easy,” he said. “Obviously it’s a lot of work that you’d have to put in, but a spread-type offense like that is really dangerous and you feel like you can make the plays in this offense as well as in a pro-style offense.”

He might not play in the spread, but his numbers are very similar to a dual-threat quarterback’s. As a junior, he passed for 1,882 yards and 25 touchdowns and ran for another 753 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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