The 2011 National Football League Draft consisted of several different prospects just waiting to fill roster spots and help a franchise achieve the ultimate goal. Several quarterbacks were waiting for a potential team to give their services to. Quarterbacks such as Ryan Mallett, Blaine Gabbert, Andy Dalton, and others were available to change the fortunes of some team. However, one quarterback prospect was the center of controversy; Cam Newton, of Auburn University. Teams either loved the prospect of having the Heisman Trophy Winner and BCS National Champion, while others questioned whether or not he could be a quality NFL Quarterback.
Several publications that cover NFL Prospects wrote all kinds of things questioning Newton’s athletic ability, character, and readiness at the next level. Character was a large issue and with good reason considering that Newton had troubles that stemmed from his days at the University of Florida. He did rebuild his college career by attending Glynn Junior College and then again at Auburn, winning National Championships at both. During last years’ championship run at Auburn, allegations did surface that his father solicited money for Cam’s attendance to Mississippi State University during his recruitment. Newton was even declared ineligible by Auburn but then reinstated by the NCAA shortly after before any game time was missed, but an investigation continued. One publication, Pro Football Weekly.com and author Nolan Nawrocki seemed to take the criticism to another level. Written in his scouting report about Newton in the “Negatives” Section questioning his character was the following; “Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and always will struggle to win a locker room. Only a one-year producer. Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”
On this week, the NCAA declared that they had no findings that met the burden of proof sufficient to continue the investigation and that they considered the matter closed. Newton has also been setting rookie records for passing for the Carolina Panthers. According to coaches and other teammates Newton has been the model student and professional, absorbing the playbook and willing to seek information from veterans. Now in all fairness this is early in his 1st season of play, hell Ryan Leaf had a couple of good games. But after all the scrutiny that this young man has endured, being the butt of many jokes, and all having all kinds of insults thrown his way, he deserves to brush the dirt that people have kicked off his shoulders and continue down his path.
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