I don’t know what to say, really.
There’s not all that much to say.
Cam Newton’s nimble footwork is mystifying and his cannon arm is awe-inspiring and his athletic ability is stunning and his on-field performances are absolutely breathtaking.
But for as speechless as Cam Newton leaves all of us, there sure has been a lot of talk about him.
Detractors are saying he wishes he were still at Florida. Others are saying that he will leave for the NFL after this season. Everybody’s got something to say.
Does he wish he were still at Florida? Of course not. Not even a little bit.
He’s sitting pretty in the loveliest village on the Plains, grasping an undefeated record, a No. 2 BCS ranking, and the Heisman Trophy pole position. The last place he wants to be is stuck in Gainesville, Florida with a 5-3 record, coached by an Urban Meyer in the Tubervillian twilight of his tenure, and without even the man that recruited him there, his former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Dan Mullen.
Sure, he has nice things to say about Florida, but that’s standard procedure. Recent Gator running back commit Mike Blakely was quoted as saying “I love Auburn.” But you don’t see Mark Schlabach basing a lame weekday web post around that particular offhand comment, because Blakely isn’t under the microscope reserved for the best college football player in America.
It’s pretty evident that Cam Newton loves Auburn and his team. It seems like he’ll do anything for his teammates, from taking a hit and picking up the first down to dressing up like the tooth fairy in a Halloween costume contest. He loves Auburn, just like Chris Todd loves Auburn without regretting his stay at Texas Tech, and just like Kenny Irons loves Auburn without regretting his stay at South Carolina. It’s hard to believe, but he’s not the first ever transfer student in the history of the NCAA.
Will he leave for the NFL after this season? We don’t know.
We do know that he likes playing football. The reason he went to Blinn instead of transferring straight to his new school was so that he could play and not sit out a year. If he preferred playing in front of nobody in Brenham to sitting on the bench in Gainesville, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for him to want to play another year in Jordan-Hare rather than sitting on a bench in the NFL.
We also know that his older brother, Cecil Newton Jr, is in the NFL. Maybe that means his family, which seems to play a large part in his decision-making, is looking for him to get a jump on the next level. But maybe that means that he and his family can be financially patient as he sharpens his skills – and ups his worth – with another year in college. We don’t know.
Coach Gus Malzahn might get hired away to a head coaching job, and that might make Cam want to leave. But, just as likely, there could be a lockout in the NFL which would make him want to stay. We don’t know.
And neither does he. He’s not worried about that right now. He said as much in yesterday’s press conference, and you have to believe him. If you remember from his press conference last week, when asked about his 40 time, he said he didn’t know it and he hasn’t run one since being here in Auburn. And when asked about what he needs to improve on, he said his reads on option runs.
He doesn’t sound like someone that’s thinking about his potential future very much, and, for that matter, he doesn’t act like he’s all that preoccupied thinking about his past.
And we shouldn’t be, either.
We should just be excited to see how he performs in the home stretch of the season. We should just be excited to see what he has in store for us. We should just be excited that we get to see him play on Saturday.
We’re in the midst of watching a very special season unfold for our quarterback, and the last thing we should be doing is wasting it away by thinking about his future or his past.
The media will continue to talk about it, reporters will continue to ask about it, and the skeptics will continue to carp about it.
But we won’t worry about it. Maybe we should just show them some Cam Newton highlights. Leave them speechless. Shut them up.
Justin Lee is a third generation Auburn man and proudly makes maybe the third best Auburn music videos on the internet today. In his spare time, he is a sophomore at Auburn, majoring in journalism. Curse him at [email protected].
Foy Onion says
The rapid ascension of Cam Newton has reminded me a little bit of another juco transfer who enjoyed a little success at Auburn – Rudi Johnson. Both came in and made an immediate splash in the second year of their respective head coaches. Both represent the offensive identity of their team.
Yes, it was disappointing when Rudi decided to forego his senior season. But, he set the table for the feast of Auburn running backs to come: Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Kenny Irons, Ben Tate.
That’s what is happening now. Cam Newton is setting the table and enjoying a heaping helping of all the dishes while he’s at it. Sure, it will be great if he decides to come back for seconds, but the feast of Auburn football will be here for a long, long time even if he doesn’t.
Right now, the important thing is to enjoy that feast while he’s at the table.
Wonder how good would Cam be playing if he liked Auburn? 😉
As great as it is to have him at Auburn, let’s not forget that this time last year, most of us probably didn’t know who he was. We weren’t exactly gloom and doom back then about this season’s outlook. Even if he leaves after this year, it is not the end of Auburn football as we know it. We should just be thankful he was here at all.
I started hearing all of this talk about how he projects to the NFL on local talk radio a couple of weeks ago. I thought to myself, “Who cares? It’s the middle of the season.” I can’t think of anything that matters less at this point in the season yet it keeps coming up over and over again.
Let’s remember that AU has exciting football to offer and the news media and talk shows have only gossip and rumors. I know which one I like best and I am going to enjoy it while I can.
Dick de says
Well stated Justin. I am breathless watching this season and for the first time in many years (including 2004), I am enjoying it. Let’s just enjoy this delicious hamburger and not worry about what we will do when it is eaten.
Van P in Illinois says
Good job, Justin. Bama people hate what he’s done for AU and can’t wait to hurry him out the door. But right now, our focus should only be on UTC / UGA.