UNC Evaluating JuCo QB

North Carolina is in the process of evaluating four-star junior college quarterback Cameron Newton.

"I've talked to the movers and shakers [at UNC] – I'd rather not name names," Newton's father, Cecil, said. "They're interested in Cameron. Someone is going to be in-front of him this week... [John Shoop] is supposed to be one of the guys who probably is going to be in front of him this week."

According to his father, UNC is just one of several schools that will visit Blinn Community College the next couple of weeks to evaluate Newton, a 6-foot-6, 247-pounder (with a hand-timed 4.46 40-yard dash reported by Blinn this year).

Since transferring to Blinn from Florida last January, Newton has been heavily recruited – before even taking his first snap Arizona and Kansas State had offered. However, things recently intensified with Newton quarterbacking Blinn to the Citizens Bank Bowl (NJCAA's title game to be played on Dec. 6).

"In all honesty, I think a lot of people were on the fence throughout the season," Newton's father said. "A lot of people were monitoring... Now all of a sudden, with his results and stats, a lot of people are jumping in head first."

In 11 games, Newton, who was recently named to the SWJCFC All-Conference Team, has completed 193-of-311 passes (62-percent) for 2,722 yards and 22 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also registered 556 yards and 15 touchdowns on 94 rushes.

UNC has yet to officially extended Newton a scholarship offer.

"From what I'm hearing, the offer is forthcoming," Newton said. "They've seen him, they like him, and hearing from the coaches he could very well fit in the package of what they have for the future. The official offer being sent, I think a lot of that is going on from an administrative standpoint – they want to check the transcript."

Outside of a couple of national recruits, UNC hasn't recruited many 2010 quarterbacks. All four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster have eligibility remaining, including three-year starter T.J. Yates, who is a fourth-year junior.

"One of the coaches said that Yates is not returning, that he was a senior," Newton said. "[UNC's quarterback situation] was one of the questions I asked.

"But they felt that Cameron – even though he's considered a dual-threat on paper – he actually has the pro-style projections."

During a mid-November interview, Newton named Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Tennessee as his top three favorite schools. But with the influx of new interest, things aren't as clear cut, according to his father. In addition to the three aforementioned schools, Arizona, Kansas, UNC, and Oklahoma are now under consideration.

Even though many assumed Newton was leaning towards Mississippi State – where Newton's offensive coordinator at Florida, Dan Mullen, now is head coach – his father says Newton doesn't have a leader.

"Everybody had said at one particular point that we had consented to Mississippi State," Newton said. "But we were going to entertain what was out there before making a decision all together. We're looking for the best possible situation for where Cameron would be successful."

Newton has taken official visits to Arizona and Mississippi State. He has an official trip scheduled to Oklahoma during the weekend of Dec. 11.

Before announcing his collegiate destination in late December, Newton will attempt to squeeze in two additional official visits. Those visits, which will be planned around his final exam schedule, are open to any school at this point.

"This week we can't go [on an official visit]," Newton said. "Next week we're going to be somewhere – we might try to take in two places in one week.

"We wanted to look at Kansas State. I have been talking to that coach and they've been on Cameron for quite some time… I know Josh Freeman came out of that program and I know Cameron is somewhat similar to Josh in some ways and that's what they were saying as well."

Newton is on track to graduate from Blinn in December and thus enroll at his school of choice in January. He'll have two years of eligibility remaining.

As a freshman at Florida, Newton backed up eventual Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. He saw action in five games, accumulating 40 yards on 5-of-10 passing and 103 yards and three touchdowns on 16 rushes.

After playing his sophomore season opener against Hawaii, Newton took a medical red-shirt. In that one game he completed 1-of-2 passes for 14 yards and rushed for 10 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

Cameron Newton Profile

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