Newton "Ecstatic" About Signing With Auburn

Auburn's newest signee Cameron Newton and his father Cecil Newton talk about choosing the Tigers and what went into the decision.

Atlanta, Ga.--It took a while for him to figure things out, but dynamic 6-6, 245 quarterback Cameron Newton chose the Auburn Tigers over Mississippi State and Oklahoma on New Year's Eve to add another highly-regarded prospect to Coach Gene Chizik's first full recruiting class on the Plains.

A four-star rated okater and one of the top prospects in junior college this season at Blinn College after transferring from Florida, Newton took a visit to Auburn in December and says in the end the lure of playing for the Tigers and this new coaching staff as well as having the chance to play close to home was too big for him to pass up.

"I'm ecstatic right now," Newton tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm sitting on cloud nine. It was really the family atmosphere with the program as a whole that made the difference for me, how settled I felt in their presence when I went on my visit.

"I felt like myself. Just the relationship with coach (Curtis) Luper, the coach who recruited me for Auburn, it was top-notch. The kinship with everyone on the team. They were really a fraternity and a brotherhood because of how they stuck together on and off the field. And also knowing they were a play or a couple of plays away from being in the SEC Championship."

Already familiar with Auburn after being recruited by the Tigers coming out of Westlake High in Atlanta, Newton said that having the chance to visit and talk with the new coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn , played a big part in his ultimate decision.

"That was probably the key to my commitment," Newton said. "Honestly, if I had not taken my visit to Auburn we would be having a conversation about me committing to another school. Me going there was really an eye-opening experience for me to make my decision that Auburn was the place for me."

While Newton got a taste of Auburn that he liked while on his visit, the ultimate decision was one made as a family. That meant sitting down as a family over the break to talk about the pros and cons of each school on Newton's list. In the end his father, Cecil Newton, said Auburn had what they were looking for as a family and for Cameron.

"We really spent a lot of time over the Christmas holidays when we were in Jacksonville at my other son's house, he's with the Jaguars--we were with family and weren't fielding a whole lot of phone calls," Newton said. "We really did the due-diligence to research and day by day we were coming closer to agreeing to the fact that this was probably the best overall move.

"It was big for my family and Cameron has a big fan base following coming out of Atlanta," Newton added about his son playing close to home at Auburn. "For the first time since high school a lot of people who are part of his fan base might get to see him place in person. That was important.

"The coaching staff with Gene Chizik, a defensive-minded guy who has a rich tradition of knowing how to stop people was important," he added. "I kind of approach football from a scientific perspective that if you're going to win games you have to learn how to stop other people from scoring. That was a good factor.

"Of course, Gus (Malzahn) is on the rise as one of the up and coming bright offensive minds in college football. It just really, really, really started coming together. The dots started getting connected. The other programs had a lot of good things to offer as well. At the end of the day Cam playing two hours away from home is a luxury as compared to going to Brenham, Tex."

With a rich football tradition and an offense that should fit perfectly for Newton's ability to both run and pass the football down the field, Auburn won out in the end. His father said that it wasn't just about what was on the field now for the Tigers, but what has been there in the past and coming down the road in the future that made Auburn the choice for his son.

"The tradition of the program played a factor as well," Newton said. "I followed Auburn back when Tracy Rocker and Bo Jackson played. I have been a SEC fan altogether for my whole life so I know the rich tradition of that program. They have always consistently been an eight or better win team. Eight wins by Auburn standards isn't something to write home about. I believe now, Cam has been diligently working out, he'll be the difference maker to really help push them over the hump."

Newton will have his chance to shine right away. Enrolling in school in January and able to go through spring practice, Newton is expected to battle senior Neil Caudle, sophomore Barrett Trotter and freshmen Clint Moseley and Tyrik Rollison for the vacant quarterback job beginning this spring. He said that's all he's looking for is a chance to help the Tigers reach the next level.

"I'm ecstatic right now," Newton said. "I want to start from day one just really being the leader of this team. I know the missing component Chris Todd won't be there and that's probably one of the reasons why I picked Auburn. I feel that's an opportunity for me to come in and be the man right away."

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