It’s probably just as well that Mark Richt, who recruited Cam Newton out of Atlanta’s Westlake High School, wasn’t able to sign him.
As has been widely reported, Richt admitted at his Tuesday news conference that “We actually had him pegged as more of a tight end prospect. A lot of it had to do with what we like to do offensively, more of a fit than any disrespect to his type of ability to play quarterback. He’s proven to be pretty darn good though.”
Chances are it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. If the reports Newton left the University of Florida on the verge of being suspended or expelled for cheating violations are true, you can imagine he also probably would not have been a good academic fit at UGA.
Not to mention the fact that if he drove the streets of Clarke County like he did in Gainesville, where he racked up a dozen traffic offenses, he’d at the very least have gotten himself suspended by Richt in that regard. They don’t take bad driving lightly in Athens, you know.
Plus there was that whole stolen laptop thing at UF.
Still, the revelation that had he come to Georgia, Newton probably wouldn’t have been competing at the quarterback spot where he’s now a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy at Auburn has to give UGA fans pause.
What kind of talent evaluation system does Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner have that couldn’t see Newton as a quarterback? And what does it say about the philosophy of Richt and Mike Bobo that a player who leads the SEC in rushing, rushing touchdowns and passing efficiency wouldn’t have been a good “fit” offensively for the Bulldogs?
Of course, this is the same system that wasted a year of Knowshon Moreno by redshirting him and tried to make a tailback out of natural linebacker Richard Samuel.
I know college football recruiting is, to some extent, a crapshoot. But Cam Newton as a tight end?
Sounds like strength and conditioning isn’t the only aspect of Richt’s program that needs a good hard look.
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