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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cam Newton declares for the NFL Draft

Quarterback Cam Newton, who re-emerged from the junior college ranks to win the Heisman Trophy and BCS national championship in his one year at Auburn, is forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.

Newton announced his not-entirely-surprising intentions in a press release by the school Thursday night after consulting with head coach Gene Chizik and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

"It was a very hard decision for me, especially after coming off the great season we had at Auburn," Newton said. "I’m blessed to have been around an excellent environment and have great teammates, coaches and support from the Auburn family."

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The decision comes only three days after Newton helped lead Auburn to a 22-19 victory over Oregon in the BCS title game for its first national championship since 1957.

"It’s been a blessing for me to be a part of something so great,” Newton said. “Any time you win games it’s a big deal, but for this school to win aBCS national championship, what a way to make people happy. Auburn is a special place that I can call home.”

Newton, Tim Tebow's one-time backup at Florida who signed with Auburn out of Blinn College in Texas on Dec. 31, 2009, was both amazing and controversial in his one year on the Plains.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound dual-threat overwhelmed defenses all season, rushing for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns while passing for 2,854 yards and 30 scores. In December he became the school's third Heisman Trophy after leading the Tigers to their first SEC championship since 2004.

Newton broke numerous Auburn single-season records, including rushing touchdowns (20), passing touchdowns (30), touchdowns responsible for (51), total offense (4,327) and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,473).

In addition to the Heisman Trophy, Newton was named the Walter Camp and Associated press National Player of the Year. He also won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top player and the Davey O'Brien Award as the country's top quarterback.

“He had one of the greatest individual seasons ever by an Auburn player and was a key part of our championship run," Chizik said. "Cam will always be a member of the Auburn family and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

But Newton's year wasn't without controversy, hounded by allegations of impropriety by his father during his recruitment. News that his father, Cecil, solicited $180,000 from Mississippi State for his son to sign there out of Blinn dominated news cycles for a month from early November to December.

Based on available evidence, the NCAA cleared Newton and Auburn of any wrongdoing, saying neither had any knowledge of Cecil's activities. Newton was ruled briefly ineligible in a procedural matter before being reinstated prior to the SEC championship game.

Newton is projected as a first-round pick. Scouts Inc. ranks him as the No. 27 draft-eligible prospect but the third-ranked quarterback, behind Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Washington's Jake Locker.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., who has Newton ranked 14th on his big board of draft prospects, doesn't think Newton's sub-par performance in the national championship game will hurt his stock.

"He won the game," Kiper said Thursday. "Let’s not forget about that. He’s won his whole career. He’s been winning games his whole career — no matter if it’s been at Florida, Blinn Junior College or certainly this past year at Auburn. ...

"If he’s a top-five pick, intangibles will get him there. If he’s a late first-round pick, it’s because the intangibles failed him. That’ll be decided over the next two or three months."


Anonymous said...

We will miss you, but are so proud of all you have done at and for AU. WAR EAGLE!!!!

Andy Bitter said...

I hope he told Jay Leno first, like he promised.

Justin said...

Glad he decided to go, it's the right move for him. If he had stayed, I'd wonder if the coaches were dishonest with him. Glad the coaches, as it appears, have the best interest of the players at heart.

If intangibles is going to affect his draft stock, then he's gonna be a top 5 pick. Whatever intangibles there are, Cam's got them all.

AUsome04 said...

Thanks for the dream season Cam. Go ahead and get away from this nonsense. At least in the NFL you won't be under as much scrutiny..., unless you're really good there too. Let the haterz hate. WaR CaM EaGlE

domaucan1 from Big BR said...


Thanks for helping Auburn get to the top of college football. We'll never forget you. You will always be an Auburn Tiger and IT'S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER!


May Almighty God bless you and your family always and in all ways.


Dom Cangelosi Class of '67
Baton Rouge, LA

Anonymous said...

Top 5 pick?

Didn't any of the pros watch the national championship game? Newton is way below average when it comes to passing, he stares at one receiver and won't throw the ball unless the guy is wide open.

He's a larger version of LaMarcus Russell (minus the purple drank).

MikeP said...

Quote: "Didn't any of the pros watch the national championship game? Newton is way below average when it comes to passing..."

Yes, that's why he finished second ALL-TIME in D-1 passing efficiency, and led the nation this year by a wide margin.

Sometime it's better to think before you type.