Cam Newton's Brother: He Grew Up, I Grew Out

The Packers filled a vacancy on their practice squad on Thursday by signing interior lineman Cecil Newton Jr. Newton's younger brother, Cam, is the hot-shot rookie quarterback for the Panthers and his dad, Cecil Sr., spent training camps with Dallas and Buffalo.

As a couple of reporters entered the Green Bay Packers' auxiliary locker room, the new guy with no nameplate above his locker said, "They're looking for the Cam Newton lookalike."

The new guy did look like the budding star quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. And for good reason, since he's Newton's older brother, Cecil Newton Jr.

The Packers worked out the 6-foot-2, 315-pound Newton on Wednesday and signed the offensive lineman to the practice squad on Thursday. He takes the place of guard/tackle Ray Dominguez, who was promoted to the 53-man roster on Wednesday. Newton said he played both guards spots at Thursday's practice and eventually will play center once he gets his feet wet.

Unlike Cam Newton, Cecil Newton wasn't a big-time recruit or college player. While Cam won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship as a senior at Auburn and was the No. 1 overall pick by the Panthers, Cecil entered the NFL in 2009 as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee State. In that regard, Cecil takes after his father, Cecil Newton Sr., who spent training camp playing defensive back for the Cowboys in 1984 and Bills in 1985 but didn't make the final rosters.

"We both stayed active in sports," Cecil said of his childhood. "Cam started growing up and I started growing out. A lot of people took onto him as the athlete out of the brothers. I had to work a lot harder than he did because he was blessed with God-given talent and size. It was a lot of fun. We were very competitive. I can remember him and I in the backyard just competing in whatever — basketball, baseball, it didn't matter. I think ultimately, that's what paid off for both of us, with the competition and the competitive spirit that we have."

Cecil Newton started at center for three-and-a-half seasons. As a senior, he was named first-team all-Ohio Valley Conference and, according to the school, did not allow a sack while anchoring the OVC's top rushing attack.

Newton wasn't selected in the 2009 draft but signed with Jacksonville a day later. He failed to make the Jaguars' final roster but was signed to the practice squad, where he spent most of the season before a late-season promotion. Newton spent the 2010 training camp with the Jaguars but didn't make the team and ultimately was out of the league. In May, he was the 11th pick of the UFL draft by the Hartford franchise, which ultimately went belly-up.

That actually worked out to Newton's benefit. He joined the Saints after the lockout but was among their final cuts. He was signed to the practice squad briefly but had been released before New Orleans' season-opening game at Green Bay. Given general manager Ted Thompson's philosophy of promoting from within — with Dominguez being the latest example — Green Bay is an exciting fit for Newton.

"I just got him this morning and did well, did a good job," offensive line coach James Campen said. "He looks to be very strong."

Had Newton stuck around in New Orleans, he would have been cheering against the Packers in Week 1. And, of course, he cheered for his brother against the Packers in Week 2 — a game he watched in person.

"It's troubled waters right now," Newton said with a laugh. "That's out of the way so now my family can cheer for the Packers and they can cheer for the Panthers."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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