Bruce Pearl Cam Newton Auburn Tigers

Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton returned to Jordan-Hare Stadium to see the Tigers battle No. 2 Georgia on Saturday (gametracker), and he found an unlikely companion in the stands. Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl sat shirtless with his team in the student section, inspiring Newton -- who wore one of his signature feathered hats -- to leave the field and join him for a photo opportunity before the game. 

Earlier on Saturday, Newton posted an Instagram story that polled fans about whether he should watch the game from the student section, and over 90% voted yes. Newton then gave the fans exactly what they wanted and -- courtesy of the 61-year-old Pearl's bare chest -- then some. Madi Prewett, an Auburn alum and former contestant on "The Bachelor," joined Newton and Pearl in what became an energized celebration. 

Auburn fans cheered Newton from the moment he stepped onto the field, and for good reason. The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner lead the team to a perfect record and a national championship in his lone season on The Plains. 

Newton, a former MVP and Super Bowl quarterback with the Carolina Panthers, is currently an NFL free agent. The New England Patriots cut the 32-year-old on Aug. 31 to clear a path for rookie Mac Jones to start.

Pearl, who became Auburn's coach in 2014-15, has led a complete turnaround of the program. The Tigers have already made two NCAA Tournament appearances with Pearl at the helm -- including a trip to the 2019 Final Four -- after they made only one in 14 years prior to his arrival.