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Morning Sun
  • Newton leads Blinn to title

  • When Cameron Newton started his collegiate football career, it was not really what he expected.



    The five-star recruit from Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake High School, had stars in his eyes as he stepped foot on the campus of the University of Florida in an attempt to lead the Gators in the Southeastern Conference.

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  • When Cameron Newton started his collegiate football career, it was not really what he expected.
    The five-star recruit from Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake High School, had stars in his eyes as he stepped foot on the campus of the University of Florida in an attempt to lead the Gators in the Southeastern Conference.
    But one thing stood in his way.
    Maybe you have heard of Newton’s roadblock. It was Tim Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and national championship quarterback.
    While Newton had a strong pedigree himself, the coaching staff at Florida layed their future on Tebow, leaving Newton to essentially fend for himself.
    That led Newton to Coach Brad Franchione and the Blinn College Buccaneers.
    After 11 months on the campus of Blinn, Newton has the Buccaneers named the NJCAA National Champions after beating No. 1-ranked Fort Scott Community College 31-26 Sunday afternoon at the Citizens Bank Bowl at Carnie Smith Stadium.
    Newton went 11 of 25 with one interception for 111 yards. He also rushed for one touchdown in the win.
    “I think I had the potential and I wanted to be the starter of a team,” Newton said. “I didn’t get a chance to showcase my ability to be a starter. It is any kid’s lifetime dream to be a starter at a major Division I university ... but look at me now.”
    After throwing for 233 yards on 21 of 33 passing in their regional championship win over Navarro, Newton is trying to lead the Buccaneers to their third national title under Franchione.
    “I don’t know if I have seen anyone with as much competitive spirit as he has,” Franchione said. “I have enjoyed watching him mature over the year.
    “He is definitely a leader and he drives the offense. He does so much more than just steer the offense.”
    Newton even admits that he had some growing to do when he arrived in Texas at Blinn.
    “It’s a big step from Florida, there is no doubt about that,” Newton said. “It is a humbling experience to be at Blinn because you don’t get all the accolades like you would a Florida, but you soul search.”
    And, he said, he has spent numerous days and nights pondering and examining his future and his goals.
    “That is humbling for a player like me and I am glad that I had the opportunity to do it now rather than later,” Newton said.
    But his season at Blinn has allowed him to grow as a person as well as a player on the field and that is something that he will take despite his experience at Florida.
    “I wouldn’t say it was the best move, but I have no regrets,” Newton said. “There are other opportunities that players have to get to a big stage, but the coaches really accepted me here and my time at Blinn has been a lifetime experience that I will tell my kids about.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I went from being a backup to Tim Tebow to playing for a national championship ... I could write a book right now.”
    With Division I colleges like Mississippi State, Kansas State, Arizona, Oklahoma, Auburn and North Carolina taking a hard look at Newton, the national championship game for him is a way to showcase the skills he said he never could at Florida.
    “I feel that this is pretty much a coming out party because I haven’t really showcased my ability to the nation,” Newton said. “On the other hand, you have the recuiting process in full effect and it is like, man, you have to face the world and then make a decision in a couple of weeks.”
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