Cam Newton's Road to Stardom
In the past four months, Cam Newton has established himself as the most talented and controversial player in college football. Here's a look at the Auburn quarterback.
Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and John Brantley
Netwon first appeared on the radar in 2007, when he was competing for the backup quarterback job at Florida with fellow freshman John Brantley. Newton played in the season opener, but injured his ankle and decided to take a medical redshirt year.
In November 2008, Newton was arrested on felony charges of burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice after allegedly purchasing a stolen laptop from a student. He was suspended from the team and withdrew from Florida soon thereafter. He transfered to Blinn Junior College and led the team to the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship. He was heavily recruited and decided to play for Gene Chizik at Auburn.
At Auburn, Newton had immediate success, gaining over 350 yards of total offense in his first game, against Arkansas State. Three weeks later, he helped the Tigers beat up on South Carolina, scoring five touchdowns in Auburn's 35-27 victory.
As the season progressed, Newton emerged as the nation's top player. In Auburn's first six games, he accumulated nearly 2,000 total yards of offense and 17 touchdowns.
After defeating 11th-ranked LSU on Oct. 23, the Tigers were 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Newton, who rushed for 217 yards in the victory, had already set the SEC record for single-season rushing yards by a quarterback (1,077) with five games left.
Cam and Cecil Newton
Despite Newton's success on the field, the quarterback was plagued by allegations that his father, Cecil, had asked for substantial sums of money during his son's recruitment.
The strongest allegation came from Kenny Rogers, a recruiter from Mississippi State, who claimed Cecil Newton asked for between $100,000 to $180,000 for his son to attend MSU.
The allegations soon became national headlines, but Auburn fans continued to support their star quarterback.
Fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium hold up signs of support for Newton.
Though some fans and coaches thought Newton should sit amidst the allegations, the quarterback continued to play. In this photo, he is greeted by Tiger fans before Auburn's game against Georgia on Nov. 13. Newton would throw for two touchdowns and run for another two in the Tigers' 49-31 victory.
Cam Newton and Gene Chizik
Newton dunks coach Gene Chizik with Gatorade following the Tigers' victory over Georgia.
Newton steps off a bus as he arrives in Tuscaloosa for the annual Iron Bowl against Alabama. After trailing 24-7 at halftime, Auburn outscored its rival 21-3 in the second half to secure a 28-27 victory.
Auburn's biggest victory came on Dec. 4 against South Carolina in the SEC Championship game. The heavily-favored Tigers blew out the Gamecocks, 56-17, as Newton scored a career-best six touchdowns (four throwing, two running).
Newton makes snow angels in the confetti after Auburn's victory over South Carolina. The victory secured a spot in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 10 against Oregon.
Cam Newton and Nick Fairley
Newton jokes with teammate Nick Fairley after the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Dec. 9. Newton won the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the best quarterback, and the Maxwell Award, given to the best all-around player. Fairley was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player.
Cam and Jackie Newton
Cam's mom, Jackie Newton, reacts with surprise to the weight of the Davey O'Brien Award.
Cam Newton, Kellen Moore, LaMichael James and Andrew Luck
Newton poses with the other four Heisman Trophy finalists -- Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, Oregon running back LaMichael James and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck -- at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football show.
Newton poses in front of the Tiger on the Auburn campus. He will find out on Dec. 11 if he won the 2010 Heisman Trophy.