UGA recruiting of Cam Newton? Square peg, meet round hole

Cam Newton struck Georgia coaches as more of a tight end than a quarterback. Really. (Associated Press)

Cam Newton struck Georgia coaches as more of a tight end than a quarterback. Really. (Associated Press)

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.”

Indeed.

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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217 comments Add your comment

jojo

November 11th, 2010
12:35 am

Bill, Did you lose a great deal of $$ betting on games? The AJC staff tell you to get more negative? A mid(late mid) crisis hit you? Hot Flashes catch up? I am neither a friend or foe of Richt, but your panties have been in a wad lately re: him, staff, pretty much anything. If it is that bad I am sure someone would be happy to take your tickets.

5150 P.O.A.D

November 11th, 2010
1:14 am

What is the over and under on Big bad Bruce having a better record than RUSS as the same amount of game played? I think Russ will be + 2.

BoWeevil

November 11th, 2010
1:48 am

EXCUSES

A ton of EXCUSES is all you will ever get Bill King whenever Saint Richt is discussed as you do here, honestly.

WASHAUN EALEY has his redshirt ripped off in the 3rd quarter of the 5th game 2009

KENARIOUS GATES redshirt ripped off in Game 6, inserted straight to STARTER

CALEB KING made STARTER despite the fact finds RB at UGA a GRIND did nothing

ORSON CHARLES not made starter until game 12 in 2009 cuz Aron White 3 catches 2008

LOGAN GRAY given half the snaps at # 1 QB 2010 Spring Practice, Murray not ready still

MARLON BROWN thrown 2 passes all of 2009, losing Redshirt Senior year he will need

BRANDON BOYKIN clearly a load with ball never considered all our issues at RB

Total Offense NCAA Average all 10 years of CMR Era is # 52, this year # 54, what system?

Said no WR depth move Logan Gray there but have 4 TE including Orson Charles – not WR?

Couldn’t get Hutson Mason 1 snap vs vols in blow-out after 10 mins of 2nd half

We jerk players around position to position like we have no clue

We don’t recognize talent at a position when we do sign them

Recruit Cam Newton as a damn TE, BS CMR for telling nation of that, sir.

# 5 SEC coach current school current coach, # 16 nationally CMR

# 5 SEC football program last 5 years 42-19, # 20 nationally CMR

There are about 25 programs who averaged 10 wins last 5 years when 2010 over

BoWeevil

November 11th, 2010
2:00 am

jojo,

Coach Richt is win percentage # 16 in the nation for his entire 10-year tenure comaparing win % of all coaches in nation at their current school.

Georgia football program is win percentage # 20 in the nation the last 5 years now including 2010

Clearly, Herschel Walker said CMR not signing the recruits in-state

Especially on Offense.

Georgia finds only 3 states all nation with more high school recruits who go on to the NFL

What’s wrong with this picture that you log in to AJ-C criticize Bill King for calling it like it is and not directing 1 word to his point, other than try to float it pass us that you are no Coach Richt Apologist.

jojo

Did you know that there are 25 football programs 1-A FBS who will have averaged 10-wins a season the last 5 years when 2010 is over ?

jojo

CMR has had his recruits in Bad Press for being # 2 in the nation over these same last 5 years in Most Arrested / Suspended.

We don’t need Cam Newton with all his baggage ? B.S. AJ Green found GUILTY of same kicked out of football for 4 games, 3 of which we lost, for selling a $29 T-Shirt for $1000, scuttled whole damn season.

Cam Newton at least is 10-0, something 8-5 last year and best case 7-6 this year for CMR has not been WINNING.

5150 P.O.A.D

November 11th, 2010
2:12 am

Big Bad Bruce is SCARED of the Golen Eagle and he just looks like a Chicken Dinner to the Tiger. Aubarn equals the record Saturday. It will be 50-50-6.

AltamahaDawg

November 11th, 2010
7:27 am

jojo, did you know guys like BuLLdawg complains an awful lot and tried to make everybody think he is some kind of committed person, when in fact, in reality when it counts, his actions, what he DOES about all the stuff he claims to be so passionate about, is zilch. Yes that’s right, he does exactly what the worst of the blind homers in here do, Nothing. It’s always easy to talk a big game when somebody else has to do the heavy lifting isn’t it? Oh I forgot, he did write a pretend letter to the AD in here once.

Did you also know that Phil is my new favorite poster?

AltamahaDawg

November 11th, 2010
7:32 am

In, fact is there a channel Phil? I am so damn glad that somebody else will say how silly it is to continue to pretend that anybody even knew how to Pronounce Knowshon’s name till he came the very game he was ready to do so.

marietta dawg

November 11th, 2010
7:42 am

I am sure there is a lot more to this story. Perhaps UGA figured out very early to stay away from this kid and his father.

RobbylookoutmntGA

November 11th, 2010
7:57 am

Has anyone been noticing what is going on up in Knoxville? Let me get this straight: If a player assaults a policemen…no on field penalty. If a player assaults another student….no on field penalty (look up Da-Rick and Jacques Smith. At Georgia, you sell a shirt or miss traffic court and lengthy penalties on the field (see A.J. and King). You tell me: What does society look at as being more offensive? Violence or Carelessness? I

gomdawg

November 11th, 2010
8:43 am

Robert Edwards was recruitted as a linebacker and play running back. Hine ward played everywhere . SO WHAT THE HELL AS LONG AS YOU RECRUITT YOU CAN AND WILL NOT GET EVERYBODY FROM GEORGIA YOU LOSE SOME AND YOU STILL SOME ( DAVID POLLACK )

Skitty Fritty

November 11th, 2010
9:09 am

Cam’s Dirty, just wait and see, good thing we didn’t get him.
Interesting thing about all these players coming out of the UF program such as Rainey, Newton, Spikes (Eye-Gouger), etc. Doesn’t seem like Urban cares about character just “Win Baby”.

Most of these bloggers are too young to recall

November 11th, 2010
9:22 am

All schools do stuff like this with players. UGA especially, is great at over looking kids OR placing them in the WRONG position. Here are just a couple of reminders of UGA’s goofy past:

Robert Edwards in the Ray Goof era was initially a linebacker. He was finally moved to tail and played there in the pros. Bad knee injury at UGA kept him from maybe being as great as Hampton or Worley or Garrsion Hearst. He did score 5 TDS vs SC that was just tied by ealey. Edwards was simply awesome.
In the mid 70sm Peach County sent us a player with first name of Pete? and he did nothing at UGA as a fullback / tailback. He did spend about 7 or 8 years with Cincy Bengals. Go Figure. He was there a top performer folks !!!

Rat Goof also had Terrell Davis at tailback and sent to UGA by George Allen ( Redskins/Rams legendary NFL coach ) from a CA school that dropped football. He and Goof did not get along but in his final game as UGA Dog, he displayed tremendous rushing ability vs GT or in some bowl. Anyway he played for years with Denver Broncos and was MVP in a Super Bowl.

Hines Ward got moved all around the UGA offense as a QB and flanker and running back and punt returner and kick offs,etc. He should have been UGA’s QB but Goof/Donnan used Bobo. Ward, having to fill in as QB during the old Peach Bowl for UGA, passed for what was or is still a record ……..like 450 yds. UGA used him as a flanker for most of his career. Go figure. Bobo? or Hines ward???

Plenty of others, too. George rogers was recruited to SC by Ray Goff. He won the Heisman. We eventually had Walker in an overlapping era but wow. The two of them would have been special. Most of Auburn’s great tailbacks …………..William Andrews ( NFL fame ) and Brooks of Warner Robins, and Ronnie Brown of Cartersville, and to many more to name were all from state of Georgia. UGA missed on ALL of them.

The Richt era must end soon. It is out of gas.

Go Dogs.

JK Williams

November 11th, 2010
9:49 am

Good for Georgia that they didn’t sign CASH Newton. Sounds like he’s dragging too much baggage along with tacklers

DAWGMAN

November 11th, 2010
10:11 am

Has all this mess overshadowed the fact that the UGA season has been in the toilet since before Halloween. Winning out MEANS NOTHING. Once again, the Bulldogs cannot get coached up to win a game until it’s ALL OVER. It’s the W-L thing fellow Dawgs. Time to bite the bullet. Pay him off. Move him out. Contact the Board of Regents. Contact the National Alumni folks. Call the HazMat Team. Call in the grief counselors. Ready, set, go away Coach. Take our money. We got money. It’s the Wins we don’t have.

GeorgiaBorn

November 11th, 2010
10:34 am

Yea, especially given the fact that we don’t throw to our tight ends. Maybe with him at tight end, we might actually have a play in our playbooks for 3rd and 4.

Scam_newton

November 11th, 2010
11:30 am

Im glad to be playin for Jimmy Raines and the Auburn Cheetahs-they got the most money

Ben

November 11th, 2010
1:03 pm

Great Article, Bill! I think you’re right. UGA does need to do a better job of recruiting and using the incredbily gifted athletes that they have. Some of the posts from today seem to be a bit biased. Even if you’re a fan you have to be able to evaluate your opinons with a little bit of objectivity.

bitter "OLE" School dooley(aka vince)

November 11th, 2010
1:37 pm

i saw him as a long snappa yaaww, 2 spott playya, small fowarrd on that thera basketball teamm yaaaww. ps i recruited hershalll to plaa linebackka and well read thaa pappa yaaaww. hahahahahahah

bitter "OLE" School dooley(aka vince)

November 11th, 2010
1:40 pm

black trans am (aka herwal), who needs money, if they be a will, they bee a way yaaaw, hahahahah

uga's girl

November 11th, 2010
1:41 pm

I think Bill has me blocked. Just checking.

uga's girl

November 11th, 2010
1:42 pm

Guess not. Guess it’s only when I don’t agree.

porch dawg

November 11th, 2010
1:46 pm

Bill, you seem to have all the answers all the time. (In hindsight.) Wouldn’t a job as a major college head coach or AD pay better than your current salary? It seems such a waste of extraordinary talent.

bitter "OLE" School dooley(aka vince)

November 11th, 2010
1:49 pm

that theraa king fellow seems too have it all figuraa out, ill put him in charge of taking care of uga 111 dogg cage!!!!!

bitter cam "aka" ask daddy

November 11th, 2010
2:00 pm

its his darn chruch not mine, stop asking me!!!!!yaaaw, moooo money yaaaw, hahaqhahahahahahahahahaah

Kem

November 11th, 2010
2:56 pm

Schmeckdawg, I am sure Mike meant that he saw Cam (Westlake) and Eric Berry (Creekside) SINGLEDHANDLY beat Bannaeker when their schools played. It seems you are the only one who could not comprehend.

Regardless of the opinions(based right now on hearsay), it’s going to be real funny when the “tight end” prospect pad his numbers against UGA this Saturday and I can’t wait.

AltamahaDawg

November 11th, 2010
3:10 pm

Especially given the “fact” that we don’t throw to our TE???? That’s a “fact”? Or a completely baseless fabrication? Georgia TE’s have caught 30 passes this year. That more than any other receiver except AJ (32). What pro style offense in the SEC is throwing to thier TE any more than that?

But you are right that IF he had been here for 3 years, there would have been some plays in the playbook for him, since the actual “fact” is that we DO throw to the TE as much as anybody in the league over that period of time even without him.

Northern Sympathizer

November 11th, 2010
3:36 pm

Right now, I’m not too concerned with not landing Newton or putting him at TE if we had. With UGA 5-5, that is the least of our problems.

Wally Butts' Designated Stumbler

November 11th, 2010
4:03 pm

“…not a good academic fit.”? Please.

If Washaun Ealey can manage to stay “eligible” in Athens, anybody with a pulse can do it….including Cam Newton.

Folks down around Portal/Twin City can’t believe Ealey stayed eligible in HIGH SCHOOL, much less college.

Then again……

embarrassing dawgs

November 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

CAM NEWTON’S FATHER TOOK THE MONEY.SELLING HIS SON TO THE HIGHEST BIDER. HOW DID HE COME UP WITH ALL THAT MONEY, TO REBUILD HIS CHURCH IN A POOR NEIGHBORHOOD IN GEORGIA? AUBURN IS GOING TO BE IN ALOT OF TROUBLE.

Saban as Cowboys Coach???

November 11th, 2010
4:45 pm

Give me a break!!! That’s hilarious! He left Miami because he didn’t have enough CONTROL. He is a CONTROL FREAK, yes, all caps. You think Jones is going to give him carte blanche? Two control freaks don’t usually mesh. I’m not saying Saban is a Bama lifer at all, but wow, what color is the sky in your world? Seriously?

macdaddy

November 11th, 2010
5:07 pm

Hey Bill,
I have got a great idea, Why dont You and Tony Barnhart go to Athens and lobby Dr Adams for the head coaching Job. With all of the great wisdom, and I know it all ,and have have gotten this figured out you guys ought to be a shoe in.

Einsteindawg

November 11th, 2010
5:24 pm

I don’t care if Greene, Shockley, Stafford, and Murray are all drafted by the NFL. I just want our coaching staff to do a better job of evaluating talent and sign a QB that will help us win a National Championship…or at least beat Florida.

Seein hypocrisy

November 11th, 2010
5:52 pm

There is a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, hypocrisy and downright fibbing going on in this blog about Newton. It’s fine for all these football know-it-alls to say he wouldn’t have fit at UGA. We have higher standards. He would not have lasted even if he was at UGA – Richt wouldn’t have put up within him……..

Not of one of these sanctimonious souls were likely saying this two weeks ago! They were lamenting they didn’t have him. My, my, football fans sure are fickle.

Mean Machine

November 11th, 2010
6:25 pm

Spread QBs like Newton do not fit well into pro-style offenses. Look at all the Spread QBs that turn out to be good NFL QBs, oh that’s right, there aren’t any! Newton probably could play QB at UGA, but he wouldn’t be playing near the level that he is in the spread system he is in now. However, there does need to be a re-evaluation by Richt and his staff with regards to recruiting.

trupert

November 11th, 2010
7:07 pm

Bill, I thought I read that Newton didn’t impress anybody with his passing skills while at UF,put that with the multiple tickets the stolen laptop and you have to ask how hard would Ga have recruited this kid anyway and who says that he wouldnt have been a great tightend. Something tells me that the combination of Murray to Newton the tight end would be a good combination.

trupert

November 11th, 2010
7:22 pm

Twelve speeding tickets a stolen lap top and caught three times cheating at Fla and he goes to Auburn and instantly becomes a model student and player?

Always suspected that Auburn and Alabama did a great job of making violations disappear, he would have been kicked off the team a long time ago if he had come to Ga. Newton made the right decision in going to Auburn where violations just never happen.

patrick

November 11th, 2010
7:31 pm

Why would Dllas want Saban? He has been head coach 15 years and finished top ten only 4 times.
.
He finished one year with ALA with 2 wins
.
he has had 6 wins in a year five times
.
he has had 7 wins in a year 5 or 6 times.
.
Hell he has had 4 good years in 15 and you think he is good? Thats not a good percentage friends. Dallas wants a winner. Not someone who got lucky 4 times in 15 years

bitter coach paul bear (aka bammer)

November 11th, 2010
8:13 pm

my brain hurts after reading this sh—–, ps dawgs beat auburn and coach dye, hahahahahahahahah

bitter cam

November 11th, 2010
8:22 pm

yaaa need to, brother kiss my daddies big, yoo su—my d—- , well just go away finebomb, bammmmmaa as—-h—-, da money went mostly to da church , yoo f—of–, moo money fool, go gators i say, ps yoo 180,00 was cheap yoo, brother sh—-, mo money i say , f— auburn, i only care about my pay yoo, deaff pentalty to auburn football who carres yoo, suckers, hahahahahahah

He Hate Gator

November 11th, 2010
8:22 pm

Newton projected as a TE,….shows the lack of the Georgia program to be able to look from the outside in and adapt what they do similarly to Urban Meyer who changed his quarterback system…

bitter finebomb

November 11th, 2010
8:25 pm

lost for words after that!!!!!!!!

SmackDawg

November 11th, 2010
8:53 pm

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

GaDawg

November 11th, 2010
9:06 pm

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.

MY POINT EXACTLY BILL!!!!! YOU’VE FINALLY PUT IT INTO WORDS FOR YOURSELF!!!! RECRUITING IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF ANY PROGRAM, AND IN MY OPINION, UGA DOES NOT HAVE THE RECRUITERS WHO CAN GET THE JOB DONE!!!!! JIM DONNAN WAS AN EXCELLENT RECRUITER OF GREAT TALENT!!!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 11th, 2010
9:25 pm

Anyone wonder why we are 2-8 against FL

I sure dont

Jethro Dawg Tull

November 12th, 2010
12:17 am

That flexability int the approach to recruiting sounds good Bill.Good atheletes can be successful at plenty of different positions. Just because Hines Ward played QB at UGA the Steelers didn’t say, Hey, we don’t need him we already have a QB. the took Ward because he was a good Athelete.
Rambo played QB in high school, Sign some of these good atheletes and then decide where to play them. As in Champ Bailey!!!!!!

Hunker

November 12th, 2010
6:00 am

You don’t change your system for one recruit…If that was the case you would change your system every year for the latest HIGH SCHOOL talent…that may or may not be on your roster next year…..

AltamahaDawg

November 12th, 2010
7:20 am

jethrow, so what you are saying is Kudos to any staff for considering how to still recruit and use a guy like Newton somewhere, despite not being able use for him as a QB? Isn’t that exactly what the man said they did?

AltamahaDawg

November 12th, 2010
7:26 am

How exactly did they “waste” a year of Moreno? 9 carries out of 4th string freshman would have been the “waste”. I would say that the fact that Richt went up to freaking NJ of all places, and found a guy liek Moreno, than none of us armchair recruiting experts down here had even heard of, brought him down here and got a lot of good, out of a guy who never should have even been in our picture, is a recruting success story. This fabricated story is about recruiting is it not? An example of a once in a blue moon player leaving as a sophomore while here, is hardly much of a valid point to this. More like slinging arrows.

legionaire

November 12th, 2010
7:56 am

Richt’s comment about Newton is as general as you can get. I think the subtle thing he was saying is that UGA did not want to hang their hat on a qb who finds problems where ever he is. Who knows what he did in high school away from the field. Tight ends can be found anywhere, QB’s have to have the savvy to stay out of trouble and run the O. Remember Quincy Carter?

guy

November 12th, 2010
7:59 am

It now seems UGA wasn’t the high bidder for him back then.Cam Newton isn’t right and you haven’t heard the last of the story either.Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!