Georgia Prep Star Cameron Newton

When you talk about college recruiting in the south, you have to talk about the state of Georgia. One of the top players in the peach state is Westlake Quarterback Cameron Newton. Newton threw for 2,500 yards and rushed for over 600 yards in 2005. Those type of numbers always grab the attention of college football recruiters.

Cameron Newton profile page

We were able to catch up with Cameron's Father, Cecil Newton, for his thoughts on his son's very active college recruitment. At the time of the interview Cameron was volunteering at a football camp for kids.

The elder Newton, Cecil, played college ball at Savannah State and spent some time in the NFL. He is no stranger to the world of college recruiting and is doing his best to advise his very talented son about the rigors of college football and the process of college recruiting.

SR: Cameron is collecting a lot of offers. Do you know which schools have made the list?

CN: Well, I don't keep up with all of the schools on his list, but I know Mississippi State, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Virginia and he is starting to get some attention out of the Midwest like Nebraska, Illinois and pretty much all of the schools from the south and southeast. A lot of schools are texting Cameron directly. It's a lot to keep up with.

SR: What schools are you all interested in visiting?

CN: We have visited Gainesville and we plan to visit Gainesville again. They invited him to this Friday Night lights deal July 21st. Auburn was at this fellowship camp and they want him there on (July) 15th. We are going to try and make some time to visit Ole Miss and Mississippi State, but I don't think we're going to be able to cram everything into July. We are just keeping all of the doors open, SEC, ACC.

We are going to get over in Mississippi, both schools. Coach Croom specifically and Ole Miss are consistently (communicating) and sending a lot of letters. They have both expressed some sincere interest. I want to see the offensive system. That will tell us the run/pass ratio, the offensive sets and some philosophical things that the offensive coordinator can and will do against different teams.

We are trying to do a lot of this before the season. When the season starts you don't get a true read. The coach at that point is locked in to his own performance. They won't have the same time to talk to us during that official visit time. It will be okay to see the fans and hopefully the team will win and play well, but if you are going to study them it is better to do it in the off-season. You will get the chance to ask some questions and they have time respond. Gameday in college football is not a joke. This thing is for real.

SR: Have you all set a time table for a decision?

We are probably not going to commit early. As Cameron's advisor, we want to see these systems in operation throughout this season. Committing prematurely means you may have to adjust to the system rather than the system adjusting to you. Cameron is a unique athlete in that he can do a lot of different things. If what the coaches are telling us is true and they are implementing these things during the season, we will get a chance first hand to see it. Then we can make a more informed decision about what is going to be a good fit for him.

SR: The fact that you have been through this yourself and with another son (Cecil Newton Jr. Tennessee State), Cameron appears to have a leg up on the process.

CN: I am walking him step-by-step from the character aspect all the way through the academia. He may not realize it, but I lived with it. I am instructing him. We watch the games and then we watch them again. The second and third time you see it, you may see some opportunities where you could have made some improvisation. Even though you got seven yards, the guy over the top may have been wide open and we could have scored. We are becoming students of the game, little by little. Cameron has come a long way. He is doing a good job.

SR: There was some speculation early on that Florida was the leader for Cameron.

CN: I can't say that they are. I have great respect for Coach Meyer, but equally with Coach Tuberville and Coach Croom and some others. There is no single leader. The main reason we cannot present our hand is because you have some guys that have committed early. That kind of adds to the tension of (the situation). Some doors might close, but some others may open. We are just keeping the options open. We are continuing to study and see what presents itself.

Cameron is not intimidated by competition because you are going to have to compete where ever you go. If you got a four star or five star guy in the 2006 class and (Cameron) is coming in with the 2007 class, I know how college football works. You don't just show up and unseat a Matthew Stafford or a Tim Tebow. It's just not likely to happen. You have to wait your turn like D.J. Shockley did with David Greene. You just have to hope that the offensive system is right for you and we are looking for the best fit for Cameron.

Steve Robertson is a staff member of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories