Cam Newton

Cam Newton
Cam Newton
No. 1     Carolina Panthers
Personal information
Date of birth: May 11, 1989 (1989-05-11) (age 22)
Place of birth: Savannah, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 2011 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2011
TD-INT     11–10
Passing yards     2,605
QB Rating     84.0
Rushing yards     374
Rushing touchdowns     7
Stats at

Cameron "Cam" Newton (born May 11, 1989[1]) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, becoming the third player to win the Heisman Trophy, a national championship, and be the first overall pick in the NFL draft all in the same one-year span, joining Leon Hart (1950), and Angelo Bertelli (1944).[2] He played college football for the Auburn Tigers. Newton is the son of Cecil Newton, Sr., who played strong safety for two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys[3] and the younger brother of Cecil Newton, Jr., a free agent center who last played for the Green Bay Packers.[4]

Newton was initially a member of the Florida Gators before transferring to Blinn College, where his team won a national junior college football championship. Newton was then recruited by head coach Gene Chizik of Auburn University and transferred once more. He became just the third player in major college football history to both rush and pass for 20 or more touchdowns in a single season. His performance earned him the Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding college football player, and he led Auburn to their second national championship in school history, despite a major controversy concerning his eligibility that embroiled the second half of the season. In his NFL debut, Newton became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in his NFL regular-season opener, breaking Peyton Manning's rookie record.[5]


Early years

Newton was born in Savannah, Georgia to parents Cecil and Jackie Newton. He grew up in College Park, Georgia. He attended Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia, where he starred in football and basketball.[6] Former Westlake football coach Dallas Allen started hearing about Newton's throwing ability and the freshman coaches told Allen that Newton needed to be moved from the freshman team to the varsity.[7] The freshman coaches eventually persuaded Allen to attend a Thursday night game, where he was impressed by Newton's arm and pocket presence and moved him up to varsity for the playoffs.[7] In his sophomore year, the team's starting quarterback broke his finger and in his first game, Newton and his center, brother Cecil Jr., fumbled a snap late in the game that the other team recovered and ran out the clock.[7] When the team's starting quarterback was healthy again, Newton returned as the back-up quarterback.[7]

In 2005, as a junior, Newton grew three inches and gained 15 pounds, sprouting to 6'3" and 205 pounds.[7] He ran for 638 yards with 9 touchdowns and threw for 2,500 yards, completing 118 out of 189 pass attempts for 23 touchdowns with 9 interceptions.[7] As a senior at Westlake, he threw for 1,400 yards and ran for another 1,000 yards. Newton was considered one of the nation's top quarterback prospects but most teams that recruited Newton out of high school wanted him as a tight end.[7] During the recruiting process, he had more than 40 scholarship offers.[8] Then-Florida coach Urban Meyer recruited Newton and told him and his family he would get an opportunity to play quarterback, despite the Gators already having quarterback Tim Tebow.[7]

On September 7, 2006, Newton verbally committed to University of Florida in a press conference at Westlake High School, choosing the Gators over Oklahoma and Mississippi State.[8] Newton chose Florida because his talents fit the spread option offense better than any other out there.[8] Allen disagreed with Newton's decision because he felt he wouldn't play much at Florida and thought he should attend Mississippi State instead.[7] Cecil Newton, Sr. assured Allen that Newton would get his chance to play with the Gators.[7] Newton graduated from high school early to enroll in classes at Florida in January 2007 and arrived on campus just before the beginning of the team's spring practice.[9]

Collegiate career

University of Florida

Newton, far left, with Dan Mullen, Tim Tebow, John Brantley, and Bryan Waggener during his freshman season at UF.

In 2007, as a freshman, Newton earned the spot over fellow freshman quarterback John Brantley as the back-up for star quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. He played in five games and threw for 40 yards on 5-of-10 passing and ran the ball 16 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns.[10] In 2008, during his sophomore season, Newton played in the season opener against Hawaii, but then suffered an ankle injury and decided to take a medical redshirt season.[11]

On November 21, 2008, Newton was arrested for alleged theft of a laptop computer from a student at the University of Florida. He was subsequently temporarily suspended by the team after the laptop was in fact found to be in his possession.[12][13] Investigators tracked the stolen laptop to the athlete, and how Newton tossed the computer out his dorm window in a humorously ill-advised attempt to hide it from the Police (a friend scooped up the laptop and hid it behind a dumpster at a nearby school building).[14] Newton was suspended indefinitely and announced his intention to transfer three days before Florida's national championship win over Oklahoma.[10] All charges against Newton were dropped after he completed a court-approved pretrial diversion program.[15] reported that Newton left the University of Florida after the fall semester in 2008 rather than face suspension or expulsion in part because of three instances of academic cheating.[16]

Blinn College

In January 2009, Newton transferred to Blinn College in Brenham, Texas under head coach Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchione. That fall he led his team to the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship,[17] throwing for 2,833 yards with 22 touchdowns and running for 655 yards.[18] He was named a juco All-America honorable mention and was the most recruited juco quarterback in the country.[18] Newton was ranked as the number one quarterback from either high school or junior college by, and was the only five-star recruit.[19][20][21] During Newton's recruitment, Oklahoma, Mississippi State and Auburn were his three finalists, eventually signing with the Tigers.[22]

Auburn University

Newton started the first game of Auburn's season, a home victory over Arkansas State on September 4, 2010. Newton accounted for 5 total offensive touchdowns, and over 350 yards of total offense. He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week following his performance.[23] Three weeks later Newton had a second break-out game with 5 total touchdowns and over 330 total offensive yards against the South Carolina Gamecocks. "That's a great SEC win against a really, really good football team. I can't be more proud of our guys," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "I thought we had a good pace going on," Newton said.[24]

On October 2, 2010, Newton led Auburn to a 52–3 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. He completed three touchdown passes, one of which went for 94 yards. It was the longest touchdown pass and offensive play in Auburn football history. On October 9, 2010, Newton led Auburn to a 37–34 victory over Kentucky. He passed for 210 yards and rushed for 198 yards including 4 rushing touchdowns. On October 16, 2010, during the Arkansas game, Newton ran for three touchdowns and threw one touchdown pass.[25] Following these performances, media reports began to list Newton among the top 5 candidates to watch for the Heisman Trophy.[26][27]

Newton (top) warming up prior to the 2010 Iron Bowl.

On October 23, 2010, Newton led Auburn to a 24–17 victory over the LSU Tigers. He rushed for 217 yards in the game which gave him 1,077 yards for the season and set the SEC record for yards rushing in a season by a quarterback—a record previously held by Auburn quarterback, Jimmy Sidle, that stood for over 40 years—and became just the second quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in the conference's history. He also broke Pat Sullivan's school record for most touchdowns in a single season—a record that has stood since 1971—with 27. Both of these records were broken on the same play: a 49-yard touchdown run in which Newton escaped two tackles, corrected himself with his arm, eluded two additional tackles, and dragged a defender into the endzone for the touchdown. The play was described as Newton's "Heisman moment".[28][29][30] Auburn received its first #1 overall BCS ranking and Newton was listed as the overall favorite for the Heisman.[31]

By halftime of the game against Georgia, Newton became the first SEC player to ever throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.[32] With the victory, Auburn improved to 11–0 and clinched the SEC West, allowing them to play in the SEC Championship game. Newton led Auburn to a 28–27 victory over Alabama in the Iron Bowl after being down 24–0. The 24-point come from behind victory was the largest in the program's 117 year history. He passed for 216 yards with three passing touchdowns, and ran for another touchdown.

Newton led the Tigers back from a 24-point deficit to defeat rival Alabama.

On December 4, 2010 Newton led the Tigers to an SEC Championship, their first since 2004, by defeating South Carolina once again 56–17, which set an SEC Championship Game record for most points scored and largest margin of victory. Newton was named the game MVP after scoring a career-best six touchdowns (four passing and two rushing). With his performance, Newton also became the third player in NCAA FBS history to throw and run for 20-plus touchdowns in a single season (along with former Florida teammate Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick, who reached the milestone earlier the same day).[33] Newton was named the 2010 SEC Offensive Player of the Year as well as the 2010 AP Player of the Year. He was also one of four finalists for the 2010 Heisman Trophy, which he won in a landslide victory.[34][35] He is the third Auburn player to win the Heisman Trophy.

Following the victory in the SEC Championship, Auburn was invited to participate in the school's first BCS National Championship Game. The game took place on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona, with Auburn playing against the Oregon Ducks.[36] In a game that was expected to score as high as 60–55 by Steve Spurrier,[37] Auburn beat Oregon just 22 to 19 to win the BCS National Championship. Newton threw for 262 yards 2 touchdowns and one interception. He also ran the ball 22 times for 65 yards, though he lost a fumble that later allowed Oregon to tie the game with limited time remaining. Once Auburn received the ball, Newton drove the Tigers down the field to win the game on Wes Byrum's last-second field goal. Media outlets wrote that Newton was upstaged by teammate Michael Dyer (the game's Offensive MVP) and Auburn's defense, which held the high-powered Oregon ground game to just 75 yards [38] On January 13, three days after winning the BCS National Championship, Newton declared for the 2011 NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season.[39]

2010 Heisman Trophy Finalist Voting[40]
Finalist First place votes
(3 pts. each)
Second place votes
(2 pts. each)
Third place votes
(1 pt. each)
Total points
Cam Newton 729 24 28 2,263
Andrew Luck 78 309 227 1,079
LaMichael James 22 313 224 916

Eligibility controversy

Newton spent much of the second half of the 2010 football season embroiled in a controversy regarding allegations that his father, Cecil Newton, had sought substantial sums of money in return for his son playing for a major-college team, in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.[41] In early November, officials with Mississippi State University charged that Cecil Newton said that it would take "more than just a scholarship" to secure his son's services. This demand was apparently communicated by Kenny Rogers, a recruiter who formerly played for the Bulldogs, to John Bond, his former teammate at MSU. Rogers later said in a Dallas radio interview that Cecil Newton said it would take "anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000" to get his son to transfer to MSU. Auburn maintained throughout the investigation that they were not involved in any pay-for-play scheme, and that Cam Newton was fully eligible to play.

On December 1, the NCAA announced that Cam Newton had been declared ineligible by Auburn after having found evidence that Cecil Newton did in fact solicit Mississippi State for money in exchange for Cam Newton's athletic service. Auburn would immediately file to have him reinstated. The NCAA quickly reinstated Newton, declaring him eligible for the 2010 SEC Championship Game three days later, stating that there was not sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn had any knowledge of Cecil Newton's actions.[42] Auburn subsequently limited the access Cecil Newton had to the program as result of NCAA findings. Also due to increased pressure by the media and the NCAA investigation, Cecil Newton announced he would not attend the Heisman Trophy Ceremony.[43] The NCAA reinstatement did not clear Cecil Newton of any wrongdoing, however, cleared Cam Newton for eligibility as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, which he won in a landslide victory with 2,263 points and 729 first-place votes.[44]

In October of 2011, the NCAA would officially close its 13 month investigation into the Auburn Tigers recruitment of Cam Newton after conducting over 50 interviews, and reviewing bank records, IRS documents, telephone calls, and e-mail messages and finding nothing that would indicate Auburn participated in any pay-for-play scenario in signing Cam Newton. The NCAA would say that the charges failed to "meet a burden of proof, which is a higher standard than rampant public speculation online and in the media". The NCAA's Stacey Osburn would say "We've done all we can do. We've done all the interviews. We've looked into everything, and there's nothing there. Unless something new comes to light that's credible and we need to look at, it's concluded." [45][46][47][48]

Awards and honors

College stats

Year Team Pass Attempts Pass Completions Completion % Pass Yards Pass TDs INT Rush Attempts Rush Yards Rush Avg Rush TDs
2007 Florida 10 5 50.0% 40 0 0 16 103 6.4 3
2008 Florida 2 1 50.0% 14 0 0 5 10 2.0 1
Attended Blinn Junior College
2010 Auburn 280 185 66.1% 2,854 30 7 264 1,473 5.6 20
College Totals 292 191 65.4% 2,908 30 7 285 1,586 5.6 24

Professional career

2011 NFL Draft

In late January 2011, Newton began working out with George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego.[49] Whitfield has worked with other quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger and Akili Smith. Newton was selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.[50] He was the first reigning Heisman Trophy winner to go first overall since Carson Palmer in 2003. During the 2011 NFL lockout, he spent up to 12 hours a day at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, FL with up to two hours per day spent doing one-on-one training with fellow Heisman Trophy winner and Panther quarterback Chris Weinke.[51]

Before the draft, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson asked Newton to have a clean-cut appearance after Newton told Richardson he had no tattoos, piercings, and was thinking about growing his hair longer.[52] Although this is similar to a policy the New York Yankees has on all of its players, this gained some controversy on Richardson's part due to other players (most notably Steve Smith and Jeremy Shockey) had visible tattoos and, in Shockey's case, had longer hair earlier in his career with the New York Giants, with Richardson even being accused of racism.[53] Despite this, Newton agreed to Richardson's dress code policies as a condition of being drafted first overall.

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 5 in 248 lb 33¾ in 9⅞ in 4.56 s 1.58 s 2.60 s 4.18 s 6.92 s 35 in 10 ft 6 in x rep 21
All values from 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.[54]

Carolina Panthers

On July 29, 2011, Newton signed a four-year deal worth over $22 million that is fully guaranteed.[55] A month later on September 1, 2011, he was listed as the number one quarterback for the team, above Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson. In his NFL debut game on September 11, 2011, Newton was 24–37 passing for 422 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, in a 28–21 road loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With a quarterback rating of 110.4, he also rushed for a touchdown, and became the first rookie to throw for 400+ yards in his first career game. His 422 passing yards broke Peyton Manning's rookie record for most passing yards on opening day.[56]

In his second career game, a 30–23 home loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, Newton broke his own record, set the weekend previously, with 432 yards passing, throwing and rushing for a touchdown.[57] Newton's 854 passing yards through the first two games of the season, the most in league history by a rookie,[58] broke the NFL record of 827 set by Kurt Warner in the 2000 season and stood as the most by any quarterback in the first two weeks of the season until New England's Tom Brady broke the mark again later in the day with 940.[58] He also became the only player to begin his career with consecutive 400-yard passing games[59] and broke the Carolina Panthers franchise record of 547 yards previously held by Steve Beuerlein.[60] After Newton's second career game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers commented "I think someone said in the locker room that I'm kind of glad we played him early in the season because when he figures it out fully, he's going to be even tougher to stop."[60] Newton's three additional interceptions against the Packers tied him for the most interceptions thrown in the league. His total passing yards over the first three games was 1,012 yards.

The Panthers recorded their first victory of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars 16–10. Newton threw for 158 yards and 1 touchdown. The Panthers played the Atlanta Falcons, losing 31–17 while passing for 237 yards with no passing touchdowns.

Newton increased his team's record to 2-5 with a week 7 win over the Washington Redskins 33-20. He threw for 256 yards and 1 touchdown, completing 18 of his 23 passes. He also rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown, including one run for 25 yards. This performance brought Cam a QBR of 127.5, his highest yet.

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Starts Wins Passing Rushing Rating
Comp Att Pct Yds YPA TD Int Att Yds Avg TD
2011 CAR 9 9 2 174 287 60.3 2,605 8.3 11 10 57 266 4.7 7 87.1

NFL accomplishments and records

NFL records

Carolina Panthers franchise records

See also


  1. ^ Auburn Tigers: player bio for Cameron Newton, "PERSONAL – Born May 11, 1989 ... Son of Cecil and Jackie Newton."
  2. ^ Vida, Jason (April 13, 2011). Cam Newton's potentially historic draft. Retrieved on September 16, 2011.
  3. ^ Cecil Newton, NFL Draft. (2008-06-11). Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  4. ^ #64 Cecil Newton Bio –. (1986-03-20). Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  5. ^ Associated Press (September 12, 2011). Ron Rivera praises Cam Newton. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  6. ^ Merrill, Elizabeth. NFL draft 2011: Tracing Cam Newton's journey to the NFL. ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Evans, Thayer (January 10, 2011). Newton: Family is why I'm here. Fox Sports. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Beard, Franz (September 7, 2006). Cameron Newton Says "I'm Going To Be A Gator". Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Schlabach, Mark (July 31, 2007). Gators' Newton on fast track after enrolling early. ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Aschoff, Edward. NFL draft 2011: Tracing Cam Newton's journey to the NFL. ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  11. ^ Timanus, Eddie (October 22, 2010). "Auburn system suits quarterback Cam Newton well". USA Today. 
  12. ^ Jeremy Fowler (November 21, 2008). "Backup QB Cameron Newton arrested for possession of stolen property, suspended from team". Orlando Sentinel. 
  13. ^ Paul Loschak account of laptop theft differs from Cam Newton. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  14. ^ "Cam Newton, Lame Laptop Thief". 
  15. ^ Gulbeau, Glenn (October 20, 2010). "Auburn's Cam Newton Makes Most of Second Chance". Shreveport Times. 
  16. ^ Thamel, Pete (November 9, 2010). "Newton Faced Suspension at Florida". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  17. ^ Clark, Matthew (December 7, 2009). "Newton leads Blinn to title". Morning Sun. 
  18. ^ a b Schlabach, Mark. NFL draft 2011: Tracing Cam Newton's journey to the NFL. ESPN. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  19. ^ Cameron Newton. (2009-12-31). Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  20. ^ Recruit search. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  21. ^ 2010 Prospect Ranking. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  22. ^ Smith, Erick (September 11, 2010). Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on recruiting Cam Newton: 'Didn't notice anything". USA Today. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  23. ^ Auburn, Retrieved September 7, 2010. (2010-09-06). Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  24. ^ Maisel, Ivan (September 26, 2010). "Cam Newton powers Auburn to 4–0 start". 
  25. ^ "Scoring Summary (Final) Auburn Football #12 Arkansas vs #7 Auburn (Oct 16, 2010 at Auburn, AL)". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  26. ^ Heisman Pundit, Retrieved October 14, 2010. (2010-10-12). Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  27. ^ Sporting News, Retrieved October 14, 2010. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  28. ^ Forde, Pat. "Cam Newton steps up against LSU". ESPN. Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  29. ^ Evans, Thayer. "Cam Newton is super against LSU". Fox News Channel. Retrieved October 25, 2010. 
  30. ^ Scarbinsky, Kevin. "Cam Newton has a Heisman Moment". Birmingham News. Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  31. ^ Lindsay, John. "Heisman: Auburn's Cam Newton stays atop SHNS Heisman Poll". E. W. Scripps Company. Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  32. ^ Goldberg, Charles. "Halftime stats: Auburn's Cam Newton becomes first SEC player to throw for 2,000 yards, run for 1,000 in a season". Birmingham News. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  33. ^ Mark Schlabach. "Cam Newton puts stamp on title game". Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  34. ^ "Four finalists named for Heisman Trophy". Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  35. ^ Smith, Erick (2010-12-11). "Auburn quarterback Cam Newton captures Heisman Trophy". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  36. ^ Russo, Ralph. "Auburn, Oregon give BCS title game new look". Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Spurrier's Prediction". Football Scoop. 
  38. ^ "We'll remember Auburn's defense prevailing – and those Oregon socks". 
  39. ^ Auburn's Newton wins Heisman in landslide – College Football. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  40. ^ "Cam Newton Wins Auburn's Third Heisman Trophy". 
  41. ^ Goldberg, Charles (2010-12-01). "Auburn's Cam Newton timeline: From recruitment to NCAA ruling". Birmingham News. 
  42. ^ "Breaking news: Cam Newton ruled eligible by NCAA". 2010-12-01. 
  43. ^ . 
  44. ^ "Cam Newton – 2010 Heisman Winner". 
  45. ^ "NCAA says Auburn had no major violations, ends investigation in signing of quarterback Cam Newton". 2011-10-12. 
  46. ^ "NCAA's investigation into Auburn, Cam Newton included review of bank records, IRS documents, phone records, emails". 2011-10-12. 
  47. ^ "NCAA: No major violations for Auburn". 2011-10-12. 
  48. ^ "NCAA finds no major violations at Auburn in Cam Newton case". USA 2011-10-12. 
  49. ^ "Cam Newton Works Out For Media". 2011-02-10. 
  50. ^ Associated Press (April 29, 2011). Panthers make Cam Newton top pick. Retrieved on September 16, 2011.
  51. ^ Cam Newton working daily with Chris Weinke | ProFootballTalk. Retrieved on 2011-07-01.
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ "Jake Locker, DS #3 QB, Washington". Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  55. ^ Schefter, Adam (2011-07-29). "Cam Newton agrees to contract". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  56. ^ Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals – Box Score – September 11, 2011 – ESPN. (2011-09-11). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  57. ^ Newton sets more records, Packers get win. Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  58. ^ a b Associated Press (September 18, 2011). Newton throws for NFL rookie record 432 yards. Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  59. ^ Snyder, Deron (September 20, 2011). Cam Newton Shows Them All. The Retrieved on September 20, 2011.
  60. ^ a b c Associated Press (September 18, 2011). Aaron Rodgers helps Packers overcome Cam Newton's 2nd straight 400-yard day. Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  61. ^ a b c Brinson, Will (September 18, 2011). Cam Newton breaks more rookie passing records. CBS Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  62. ^ Beard, Aaron (September 18, 2011). Rodgers, Packers Beat Newton, Panthers 30–23. ABC Retrieved on September 18, 2011.
  63. ^ Fantasy football advice for Week 6: Sleepers and busts, player rankings, good and bad matchups – Fantasy Football – ESPN. (2011-10-14). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sam Bradford
1st Overall Pick in NFL Draft
Succeeded by