Newton, Tebow are similar talents

Florida backup quarterback Cameron Newton, right, celebrates with Tim Tebow after he scored a touchdown in the second half of Florida's game vs. Western Kentucky at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 1, 1007.

File photo
Published: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.

Auburn's Cam Newton has made a splash, not only in the SEC pond, but in the nation's as well this season, and it brings up memories of another quarterback who did the same thing in the recent past — Florida's Tim Tebow.


BCS Championship Game

WHO: Auburn (13-0) vs. Oregon (12-0)
WHEN: Tonight, 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

The similarities between the two are striking. Both can burn a team with their arms or trample opponents with their feet. For their efforts, both became the third player in Auburn's and Florida's histories to win the Heisman Trophy.

Newton's conquering of college football this season is similar to Tebow's Heisman Trophy winning season of 2007.

Newton joined Tebow and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick as the only players in FBS history to run for 20 touchdowns and throw for 20 scores in a season.

Newton (48 combined touchdowns) currently is trailing Tebow (55 in 2007) in single-season scores, but he does have the Denver Broncos quarterback beaten in one passing category. Newton's pass efficiency rating of 188.16 tops Tebow's rating of 172.5 in 2007 and it ranks him first all-time in major college football for a single season. Tebow did post a career rating of 170.79, which ranked first all-time in the NCAA record book until Sam Bradford surpassed him last season.

Newton's accomplishments this season certainly have Gator fans scratching their heads at the thought of what could have been. He spent two seasons at Florida — one alongside Tebow in 2008 — before heading to junior college and becoming a star at Auburn.

At Auburn, Newton became the first player in SEC history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a single season in 2010. Tebow came close with 910 rushing yards in 2009.

Now Newton gets the chance to do something else Tebow didn't: win a Heisman Trophy and a national championship in the same season, like 13 other players have done.

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