You remember Cameron Newton, of course. When his legal issues led him to drop out of Florida a little more than a year ago, no one in Gainesville made a big deal out of it because we’d all seen him throw the ball while he was here. Let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty.
But the former UF quarterback has a chance to make a strong comeback in the SEC this season with Auburn. He may not be a great passer, but the Tigers seem to think he has a chance to be a great player.
AU coach Gene Chizik raved about Newton when he was asked about him at the SEC Spring Meetings on Wednesday.
“It’s great to have a quarterback who is extremely athletic who can give you something out of nothing, and Cameron has the ability to do that with his feet,”Chizik said. “He’s a capable drop-back passer or throwing the sprint-out game. He gives you an extra added dimension when you throw in designed zone running plays. Obviously, he’s very talented and very athletic in that regard. There are so many other things that go into playing quarterback, but anytime you have a guy with that type of escapability, it helps.”
Newton was sort of mediocre in the spring game, but he won the starting job a few weeks later based on his body of work over four weeks.
Newton had a huge season last fall at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. Rivals rated him the No. 1 junior college prospect in the nation, and a five-star recruit. Some thought he might follow Dan Mullen to Mississippi State, but he decided to make it a completely fresh start by signing with the Tigers. Had he signed with MSU, he would have been playing in The Swamp this fall. With Auburn, he won’t come to The Swamp but he will cross paths with his former team when UF visits the plains in 2011.