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

Don

November 12th, 2010
8:41 am

LMFAO – ‘Bama fans shaking thei boots that Sabam might leave – did he tell you cornholers to stop the ramma jamma stuff too?

GODAWGS75

November 12th, 2010
8:57 am

UGA 1990 what a joke, a Great job with Quarter Backs?????
Greene was good, Stafford was a good quaterback, but he couldn’t win the big games. Murray end up a top NFL recruit, sorry buddy not going to happen. We didn’t even know who was going to start this year. What other team in college football does not have back up quarter backs ready to go? This is always an issue for us, Stafford got to play becuase someone was hurt, obviously if they knew how good he was he would have started. Bobo is HORRIBLE, and if you do not agree you never played football in your life.

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

November 12th, 2010
9:11 am

Bill:
Don’t turn into one of these daily second guessers that are supposed Dawg fans…If you have a QB that runs as much as this guy does, you better get you a second QB ready….Michael Vick is a better running QB than this dude but you see what has happened with him running the ball….If you run this offense, get a 2nd QB ready….Don’t know that Auburn has that….Just another example of trying to figure out a way to second guess the UGA coaching staff…Shame on you….

LAKE OCONEE DAWG

November 12th, 2010
9:15 am

GODAWGS75:
You obviously have never played any football if you don’t recognize the good work Coach Bobo has done directing the offense to over 30 points per game in the last 5 games….What would it take to please you, 50 a game???? You obviously have offense and defense mixed up…It was the defense that gave up 29 points while the offense scored 27 vs. Colorado…Colorado hasn’t scored that many against anybody all year….Yet you come on here trying to blame Bobo….Go to a football 101 class and learn the difference in offense and defense….

AMEN!!!!

November 12th, 2010
9:34 am

And D.J. Shockley should have been a flanker. How about the Bryant kid out of Peach County? Hell I remember seeing him throw it and run it. He would have won a heisman for a spread offense. I guess 6′6 250 will have a field day against our defense and Richt might have a change of heart.

@ Lake Oconee Dawg

November 12th, 2010
9:35 am

Are you delirious? Our offense is PATHETIC! Get your head out of the Lake. Tennessee and Vandy are AWFUL. We are awful. You are a Disney.

@ Lake Oconee Dawg

November 12th, 2010
9:40 am

Yeah, get the second QB ready? Have you seen the hits our QB has been taking? Tell me you are kidding. Play Action Fake with nothing but deep routes. Our best runner is our QB and he is scrambling out of the pocket for his life! Come on, The I formation is a thing of the past. You might be the only person in America that thinks that redneck Bobo is a coordinator. He wasted Stafford, he wasted Moreno. Bill’s point is straight valid, how do we evaluate talent? I watch games from all across the country and their are receivers, qbs, dbs, safeties from GEORGIA that are superstars in their league. Get a clue. You are what is wrong with UGA.

wins-by-a-link

November 12th, 2010
9:43 am

Bill, I don’t remember you clamoring for Richt to sign this great QB in waiting when Newton was in high school, Since you are so good at hindsight lets see how good you are at foresight and tell us who we should sign from this years’ class that will turn out to be the next Cam Newton.

uga's girl

November 12th, 2010
9:44 am

My husband & I keep up with the recruiting like it’s Biblical & I can say that Cam was not even really looked at. It was a glance at a kid who was big & most schools saw him “not fitting” at QB. I’m glad we didn’t “get” him. We have enough problems. Unfortunately, the SEC is going to look really bad once all is said & done. UF, MSU & AU are going to be in the pooper. All because of this one recruit who we “missed” out on. Whatever. For the do-do who said 2 weeks ago UGA fans were saying we wish we had him, apparently doesn’t know many UGA fans. Maybe they know the fair-weather wishers of the UGA fan base, but not the people who follow it day in, day out, year ’round! Also, there are too many situations to list about recruits who didn’t play their high school positions. Some have been listed here, but my word, there are thousands of them. Watch any game & listen to the commentaries about how “Bob” was this in h.s. & now is this. Every game baby!

CN & his father are a problem. People saw this early on & I for one am ecstatic that he doesn’t play for the Dawgs. Yeah, AU will get their one year guy & may win the NC, but at what cost? All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together & it’s not pretty. The NCAA & SEC have been investigating since January & it’s all coming to light now. On opening day, Game Day had an interview with Cam & I saw something I didn’t like. He’s very self-centered and the crap about him being humbled by the laptop incident, well it’s just that….crap. Just look at all of his comments. Everything going on will not change his performance Saturday because he only cares about one thing & that’s himself. Chizik & his “this kid has character” speech was crap. Like old Cam said himself, “I’m here to go to school & win football games”. (notice he didn’t say “help” win)

I hope our Dawgs put it on them & upset them. I don’t care about it “looking bad” for the SEC as someone put it, CN is doing enough of that.

GO DAWGS!!!! Get out there & play to your potential & you win this game. Heck, 90% of your potential can win this game.

SIC ‘EM!

cantondawg

November 12th, 2010
9:59 am

Bill,

I agree with your comments on Cam Newton. That was a big failure in talent evaluation. However, i do not share your thoughts on Knowshon Moreno. I still can’t believe how people forget how loaded we were at tailback his freshman year. We had Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin so we weren’t exactly hurting for running backs that year. Also, You said RS was a natural linebacker. The first couple of games that i saw from Richard Samuel, i thought he was going to be a heckuva running back and everyone else did too.

Todd

November 12th, 2010
10:03 am

Dang Bill, you’re coming out of the old koon dawg shell!

GATA

Now your talking.

Bill, MR has had his opportunity. Can you imagine the week leading up to Florida next yr.? You want to talk about a desperation feeling, particularly if we go in to Jax with MR and BOBO tight as a drum . I know Greg McGarity, I’m perseverating over UF and that’s not healthy you tell us, but that game next yr.
will yet again be the turning pt. always has been, always will be. McGarity, loosing 18of21 is toxic, not unhealthy.

Doesn’t matter what happens tommorrow, 7-5 at best, still a bad bowl game, not Chick F, got Miss. ST written all over it.

droopydawg

November 12th, 2010
1:32 pm

The recruiting problems have been evident in the defense for a few years now. Two words: Bryan Evans.

DawgFan

November 13th, 2010
7:49 pm

Typical Auburn win, let the refs do it for you and take dirty shots at the QB…Shows what kind of class Auburn is. Not to mention the Head Coach when he lets the dirty player continue to play. I hope the SEC and the NCAA comes down hard on Auburn and it’s dirty/Illegal players.

UGA has already won - really

November 14th, 2010
7:36 am

Hey Dawgs, you’ve already won this year! You beat Auburn 11 – 0 in the players arrested contest! Stay classy, Athens!

TOOMERS CORNER

November 14th, 2010
11:16 pm

Why are you deleitng all the Auburn fans’? WOW

TOOMERS CORNER

November 14th, 2010
11:16 pm

frommiami

November 15th, 2010
8:01 am

Some of you have short or selective memories. As I recall, there have been plenty of off-field antics from the Dawgs, too. Be careful throwing dirt when your own house isn’t clean.