Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:47 am

Denard's load will be lighter in 2011

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While the 2010 season ultimately ended up being the year of Cam Newton, for the first month of the season the name that was dominating the college football landscape was Denard Robinson. Michigan had started out its season undefeated, and Robinson was tearing opposing defenses apart. Through the first three games Shoelace had racked up 1,230 yards and 8 touchdowns, including a 502-yard effort in a win against Notre Dame.

While Michigan's season would feature six losses before it was done, the Denard Robinson Show never really came to an end, as he finished the season second in the nation in total offense with 328.6 yards per game, and accounted for 32 of the team's 58 touchdowns. 

Now Robinson and the rest of the Wolverines are undergoing a coaching change, which means that a new offensive system is being put in place under Brady Hoke and Al Borges. While Borges says that Robinson will still be the focal point of Michigan's offense, things won't be the same as they were under Rich Rodriguez -- speaking of whom, our own Dennis Dodd had a nice talk with the former Michigan coach this week -- and he'd like to lighten his load a bit by spreading the ball around a bit more.

"To a degree … we're blowing a lot of [the offense] up," Borges told the Detroit News. "In our offense, I don't see Denard rushing for 1,700 yards, and I told him that. But I could see him rushing for 1,000 yards, and I could see him throwing for that 700 or 800 he didn't rush for."

"They were tattooing him. I came at him that way — we can save you a little bit. Everybody knew Denard was the show. He's tough, he's smart and he's athletic, and we have to get the most out of him."

Borges also went on to say that he was pleasantly surprised at Robinson's passing skills, as he came to Michigan thinking Denard was a runner, but after watching more film on the team, he likes what he sees from Robinson in the passing game.

The change in philosophy, while expected, is also pretty logical. The only thing more common than seeing Robinson make some fantastic play with his legs last season was seeing a play end with Robinson getting up slowly, or even leaving the game. Since Robinson is such a unique weapon for the Wolverines, you want to make sure you can keep him on the field as well.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 4:35 pm

Big 12, non-AQs lead the way in JUCO signees

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Certainly no team got more attention for going to the junior college well this year than Auburn, who rode their famous pair of JUCO transfers -- Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, arguably the best offensive and defensive players in the country, respectively -- to a perfect record and national title. The Tigers started former JUCOs at linebacker (Eltoro Freeman), cornerback (Demond Washington) and right tackle (Brandon Mosley) as well, as clear an example as you could get as to why major programs aren't going to stop looking at immediate JUCO help anytime soon.

But if a program like Auburn might sign the most influential JUCOs, which ones sign the most, period? That's the question asked and answered by this study by Jon Solomon at the Birmingham News , which tallied up every community college transfer signed in FBS football over the past four recruiting classes (give or take one or two here or there). Solomon found that the three conferences collectively bringing in the most JUCOs were all non-AQ leagues: the WAC at 17.2 signees per team per four years, the Sun Belt at 15.0 per team per four years, and Conference USA at 14.8.

At the BCS level, the Big 12 (13.8 per team per four years) is far and away the leader in JUCO signees, with the Pac-10 coming in runners-up (despite the SEC's JUCO-friendly reputation) at 11.6. (The addition of Utah won't help the future Pac-12's numbers, either; the Utes led the Mountain West in JUCOs with 22 over the four-year period studied.)

Why the Big 12? Though eight of the conference's teams finished in double digits, the runaway leader was -- you guessed it -- Kansas State, the notoriously JUCO-dependent program that lived up to every inch of its reputation by signing an FBS-most 39 junior college players from 2007-2010. Non-AQ teams took the next five slots as Memphis (35), UAB (34), Hawaii (31), Troy (29), and New Mexico State (28) were the only other schoosl to top 28 or more. The closest BCS conference team was Iowa State, with 26.

So does JUCO signing work? On the one hand, the success of teams like Hawaii and Troy -- not to mention Auburn and Oregon, who with 17 JUCOs in the four-year period actually took on seven more than their national title game opponent -- would suggest that taking on the right kind of two-year players can pay handsome dividends. The ongoing struggles of Memphis, UAB, and Bill Snyder's Wildcats -- who have gone just 12-20 in the Big 12 in this span -- would suggest, though, that it's not at all a sure quick-fix.

Posted on: January 24, 2011 2:26 pm

The most exciting football is at UAB, the Big Ten

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Auburn Tigers played in a lot of close, exciting games this season. The Tigers win over Oregon in the national championship game was no different than their affairs against Alabama, Clemson, Kentucky, LSU or South Carolina. They had the most dynamic player in college football in Cam Newton as well. All in all, they were a very fun and exciting team to watch.

But were they the most exciting team in all of college football in 2010? I guess that depends on your perspective, but according to one website that ranks teams based on how exciting they are, Auburn wasn't even the most exciting team in the state of Alabama.
It’s actually the University of Alabama-Birmingham, which finished the season with a 4-8 record. Auburn, which won all 14 of its games actually finished second, according to Thuuz.com, a company that sends alerts to fans in real time based on how exciting a game is.
The company averaged the excitement rankings from the games of 92 of the 120 FBS schools and came up with some pretty interesting findings. The excitement meter ranges from 0-100 and doesn’t take into account the records or the fan following.
Yes, that's right, UAB was the most exciting team in college football this season. A 4-8 team. I'm not sure how the website ranks these things, but UAB did play in some close games. The Blazers played in two double-overtime games, played in another two games that were decided by a point and lost two others by five points. The only UAB game I saw this season was against Tennessee, and I'll admit, seeing the Blazers nearly shock the Vols in Neyland Stadium was rather exciting.

The top five teams were UAB, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Michigan and East Carolina.

Of course, teams are one thing. No college football fan is content knowing that just his team is better. He needs to know where is conference ranks. So where did the mighty SEC finish in excitement? It was the fifth most exciting conference in college football. The only thing that could make that fact worse for SEC fans is the next sentence.

The Big Ten was ranked as the most exciting conference in college football.

I know, I know. Just keep in mind the excitement factor isn't based on style of play as much as close games.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 3:04 pm

Cam Newton signs with Brett Favre's agent

Posted by Chip Patterson

Cam Newton may not be considered the top quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he will one of the most valuable athletes in the class.  Newton has instant name recognition beyond the football world, and his trademarked smile and larger than life personality is a perfect match for endorsements.  Not to mention the on field accomplishments of a National Championship and being a runaway Heisman Trophy winner.

So for agent Bus Cook to land Newton as a client is a pretty big deal.  Sources have confirmed to our own Bryan Fischer that Newton has signed Cook on for his representation in the 2011 NFL Draft.  The agent-duties will be shared between Cook and Perennial Sports, a D.C. based group that currently represents Cam's brother.

Cook was going up against some of the biggest football agents in the game for Cam's nod.  In order to seal the deal, Cook reportedly called in some help from Brett Favre.  Pro Football Talk reported earlier this week that Favre, a longtime client and friend of Cook, joined the agent in his meetings with the Newton family.

What kind of impact did Favre have on the decision?  Hard to say, but if anything, Favre's team can say they have dealt with their fair share of public controversy.  There is little reason to believe that just because Newton is leaving Auburn, the damning reports surrounding his recruitment will go away any time soon.

Or even better, maybe Favre hooked up Newton with a sweet gig doing endorsements for Wrangler.  Now THAT would be a Super Bowl commercial.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:45 am

Jay Jacobs isn't mad at Cecil Newton

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Such is the world of the NCAA and college football these days that the fact that Cam Newton was seen hugging his father on the field in Glendale following Auburn's win over Oregon became a national story. That's what tends to happen when the Heisman Trophy winner has a father who was trying to sell his son to the highest bidder, and has been told by stay away from the Auburn football program by the NCAA. Which is why it's hard to blame Auburn for asking Cecil Newton to stay away from the game, as athletic director Jay Jacobs and Cecil Newton came to a mutual agreement that he'd stay away from the game.

So is Jacobs upset at Cecil for being on the field after the game? Did it go against the agreement? Nope and nope.

"My understanding is he actually came in after the game was over for the celebration," Jacobs said. "Now, I haven't spoken to Mr. Newton. But based on what his attorney said, that's my understanding. As far as I'm concerned, he didn't go against anything we mutually agreed upon."

Newton's attorney said that Cecil watched the game off-site and came to the stadium after the game for the celebration. Which is somewhat odd considering that I'm pretty sure the fine folks at any stadium are busy trying to get you out of the stadium once the game is over, not allow new people in. I suppose it's possible that Cecil Newton may have told somebody at the stadium who he was, and they then let him in, but I'm not sure.

Whatever the case is, the bottom line is it doesn't matter. He was just a father who wanted to be with his son as he celebrated the biggest accomplishment of his life. I don't see why anyone needs to try and take that away from him.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 4:58 pm

Cam Newton's sweat was for sale

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As is the case when any team wins a championship, fans begin hoarding all the official championship apparel that they can.  They seek out memorabilia as if terrified they're going to forget their team ever won, worried that, if they don't have a t-shirt hanging in the back of the closet to remind them, it'll all just disappear.  Then the faithful don their new shirts and hats, head to the local Wal-Mart, and pose for pictures alongside the trophy they broke no sweat helping to earn.

It's that desire to be a part of something special within all of us that drives fans to want a piece of it.  Still, as I said, Johnny Auburnfan didn't break a sweat helping Auburn win a national title.  So what's the next best thing that he can do?  He can go on eBay and buy some of Cam Newton's.
You are bidding on THE towel that Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton used during the BCS National Championship game against Oregon on Monday January 10th 2010! The towel is 100% authentic, in good condition and has the Auburn logo embroidered on the towel. It even has blades of grass from the field still on it!! The towel was given to me after the game on the field immediately following the trophy presentation (see photos). When I received the towel, many of the fans and media members that saw suggested that I frame this towel and make a fancy presentation but I have chosen to sell the towel as is and let the winning bidder do with it as they please. This is an amazing opportunity to own a piece of history 50+ years in the making. Please view my other auction as I am selling a number of authentic game used items that were literally in the trash on the field after the game. Some people's trash can be your treasure!

Sorry, Auburn fans, but the towel has already been sold.  For $201.  Yes, that's right, somebody bought a dirty towel that they have no way to prove was actually Cam Newton's for $201.  Who says there is a recession going on?

Hat tip: War Eagle Reader
Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 1:33 pm

Auburn's Darvin Adams declares for draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn knew a top-five pick like Nick Fairley was as good as gone. They knew first-rounder (and NCAA investigation target) Cam Newton probably wasn't far behind. But they hoped that was as deep as the damage from the NFL Draft ran.

As of today, it turns out they hoped in vain, as leading receiver Darvin Adams has also declared himself eligible for the 2011 draft .

The move comes as something of a surprise, with Adams failing to make so much as honorable mention All-SEC (albeit in a loaded field at his position) this season, seeing his statistics take a slight across-the-board decline from his breakout 2009, and generally not expected to be a higher-round draft pick. At a spindly 6'3", 185 pounds, Adams may also need some quality time in the gym to be physically ready for the next level.

At the same time, there's something to be said for Adams' impressive consistency as Auburn's two-time No. 1 receiver: 60 receptions, 997 yards, 10 touchdowns in '09, and 52 receptions, 963 yards, 7 TDs in '10. His height, sure hands, and excellent body positioning could make him a quality possession receiver regardless of draft position. And it's worth asking, above all, whether another year would do anything for Adams' draft stock anyway; with a new quarterback, rebuilt offensive line, and ever-deepening pool of receivers, Adams could easily see his personal production drop even further in 2011. (Of course, it's also worth pointing out that where winning on the team level goes, there's nothing left for Adams to accomplish.)

So the declaration comes as a surprise, yes. But it's far, far too early for anyone to call Adams' decision a mistake.

Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:53 pm

Nick Fairley declares for draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn made a living out of defying expectations this season, but unfortunately for them, expectations have finally won out when it's come to early draft declarations. Cam Newton announced he was taking his skills to the NFL last night, and today Lombardi Award winner and national championship game defensive MVP Nick Fairley made it official: he's forgoing his senior season on the Plains to go pro as well.

Though Fairley reportedly became emotional during the announcement and thanked the "Auburn Nation" for their support, the decision couldn't have really been all that difficult. An unstoppable force on the Tiger defensive line this season and one coming off of a dominating performance in the BCS title game, Fairley is the No. 1 defensive tackle in the draft according to many and could go as high as the No. 1 overall pick. Barring some kind of catastrophe in pre-draft workouts, Fairley is a mortal lock to go in the top five; our draft gurus here at CBS have him at No. 3 and No. 4 in their current mocks , respectively.

Combine that kind of payday with the facts that Fairley is already four years out of high school (having spent two seasons, one a redshirt, at a Mississippi junior college) and has won virtually every honor there is for a defensive lineman to win on both the team and individual level, and there was really only one choice for Fairley to make. Like his teammate Newton, Fairley was more blinding supernova than enduring college star -- he started only two games and recorded just 3.5 tackles-for-loss in 2009, before blowing up for 24 this year -- but that won't keep him from being remembered at Auburn (and in college football in general) for a long, long time.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com