Cam Newton’s high school coach on NFL QB’s record-breaking debut

Is Cam Newton the real deal in the NFL?

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Now boarding in Atlanta and the entire state of North Carolina – the Cam Newton bandwagon.

The former Westlake High School star has won rave reviews — even from his longtime critics — after posting Nintendo like-stats and breaking NFL rookie records in each of his first two starts. Newton passed for 432 yards and two touchdowns, along with three interceptions, in Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers.

Newton’s high school coach expected big things for his prized pupil in the NFL. But maybe not like this, at least this soon.

“I think Cam is playing within his talents,” Marquis Slaton told the AJC. “The Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator [Rob Chudzinski] is doing an outstanding job of putting Cam in position to be successful with his play calling. He really seems to know how to utilize Cam’s talents and abilities.

“Cam spent a lot of time with [Chudzinski] during the preseason, understanding the offense in bits and pieces, and learning to take what the defense gives you. Cam has given lot of praise to [Chudzinski] helping him to grow and to understand the level of play on the professional level.”

Former Westlake HS star Cam Newton (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Former Westlake HS star Cam Newton (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Slaton is a mentor for Newton after coaching as Westlake’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2004-08. Slaton is now head coach at Banneker High School and remains close to his former star quarterback and his family. Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, attended Banneker’s first three games this season.

“Cam’s NFL start has been phenomenal; it shows that he has something you can’t teach and that’s composure,” Slaton said. “It shows how well Cam has prepared himself from week to week. Cam’s preparation has always been second to none.  He has always been a student of the game with preparing for opponents.

“Cam knows there are great expectation for him, and his attitude all along has been that he’s got to get better. So I think the best is yet to come. These first two weeks … they are just the beginning.”

What do I think? I can’t remember anyone making such a meteoric rise in the football world. I mean, around 14 months ago, Cam Newton was virtually unknown coming out of Blinn Junior College. I know, hard to believe. In the span of around one year, Newton has led Auburn to the BCS championship, won the Heisman Trophy, was selected as the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, and set rookie passing records in each of his first two starts. I mean, at some point, this has got to stop. Right? He’s putting up numbers in the real NFL like you could with Bo Jackson in Nintendo’s “Tecmo Bowl” video game.

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51 comments Add your comment

He is good

September 19th, 2011
1:11 am

Pretty amazing

CMR

September 19th, 2011
1:15 am

Hello people, my name is Mark Richt and I recruited Cam Newton to play tight end at the University of Georgia. I stand by my talent evaluation, and I think Cam would be doing an excellent job for us right now playing behind Orson Charles as backup tight end. I think all the Heisman Trophy voters and NFL scouts, GMs, and head coaches are dead wrong. Aw shucks, I voted for Cam as second team ALL-SEC tight end last year. PS. It was nothing against Cam and the QB position. I just thought Logan Gray and Joe Cox would be studs in the NFL! Someone has to play TIGHT END.

tide roll

September 19th, 2011
1:52 am

For Richt to come forth and publically state before the Auburn game that they (he and Bobo) evaluated Newton as a tight end was embarrassing. It’s not something you own up to at that particular time. I wonder if he and Bobo still felt the same way after he game. Newton hammered the Dawgs. The other frustrating thing for Dawg fans is that Newton’s mentor since grade school was Resty Beadles, a former offensive lineman at Georgia! For the Richt/Bobo braintrust to pass on the kid twice, once out of Westlake and yet a second time after he had led Blinn J.C. to a national title as a QUARTERBACK, should be troubling. And it would be to most normal programs. Not Uga, they’re proud of it.. It makes you wonder if Richt/Bobo do a fair, honest, and objective evaluation of kids like Newton when determining who they’ll recruit to play Quarterback at Uga. You’d have to have your head in the sand not to wonder if it’s not something else. It’s unfortunate.

Bull

September 19th, 2011
2:11 am

Carvel how is Cam Newton in any way, shape or form have anything to do with college recruiting….? Unless you want to point out how corrupt Auburn is, or how the NCAA screwed up by letting him play because of a loop hole in the bylaws. He has a self inflated attitude and got away with things in college. Are we supposed to root for this guy, cmon…

7576DAWG

September 19th, 2011
5:23 am

Mike
I’ve got to go along with BULL on this one. It has nothing to do with recruiting. Anyone that Florida thought so low of , that they would kick them out of their program has my vote as someone not worth talking about.
Newton got away with a lot in college by playing a broken system with a lot of loop holes. That s### want cut it as an adult. Eventually his low values, poor character , playing dumb past will catch up with him.

Michael Carvell

September 19th, 2011
5:24 am

@7576DAWG, thanks for your comment. This is the first of many updates on former top recruits out of the Atlanta area.

Tmania

September 19th, 2011
6:57 am

Hey Large – When your going to insult someones intelligence, you might want to make sure you use spell check……Keep hating. This kid just wins. Sure he made some mistakes, but he’s moved on. The kid has shown some real maturity in everything that has come his way. His work ethic is second to none, ask his teammates.

And 7576DAWG – show me where he got kicked out of UF. And keep talking about his low values, poor character – do you remember Odell Thurman? UGA gave him quite a few chances and didn’t have any issues with character then…….

ECB

September 19th, 2011
7:20 am

I saw on ESPN where a kid from Grady committed to Cincy…and you post this!??

S GA AU FAN

September 19th, 2011
8:18 am

Way to go Cam, War Eagle!

slydog

September 19th, 2011
8:30 am

@Bull and 7576DAWG

Why are people like you whining? Loser mentality is what folks like you have. You would be sssssoooo happy if Cam never played another down of football again, wouldn’t you? If this kid and his father actually took money, then so what? Taylor Martinez of Nebraska is still playing and his dad got paid by Nebraska for…CornFed?…lol. And by the way, how is he doing as an adult? How has he carried himself after games. He was a young man learning his way through the world, just like you. He has displayed not one TAD of deviant behavior since leaving Florida. Just last week, 90% of the posts were praising Collin Barber for standing up like a man, taking responsibility, “let me print this out for my kids.” Now let me keep this all the way real: It was because he was white. How the heck does anyone know what kind of d*&^khead or good guy Barber is before he gets on campus? The scenery in Athens is very beautiful and enticing compared to his current location. I’m not claiming racism here, just pointing out your subconscious agenda. A good analogy is Christianity and Islam. Most folks in this country would roll over and die before they allow a mosque to be built in their town. But you both serve “God.” It’s only because you are unfamiliar with a culture or an ethnic group. The funny thing, most college football fans agree that the players should be paid, just don’t let that person be Cam… Child Please!!!!

dawgstlye

September 19th, 2011
8:40 am

carvell, this (scam newton ) had nothing to do with recruiting !!! we are all tired of the smoke blowing lets move on !!!!

Bama Fan#2

September 19th, 2011
8:53 am

Cam Newton is a amazing player and it is weird that Mike Shula is
his QB coach. I still think AU cheated to sign him and his dad. but
you have to give credit to Cam for playing so well this early in his
career. RTR

Hubie Green

September 19th, 2011
8:55 am

Very proud that this young man is from the great state of Georgia and proving all his critics wrong. You are weak if you cannot give credit where credit is due. Cam like all of us has made mistakes in his life. The key is whether or not you grow and learn from your mistakes or arrogantly keep making the same mistakes. Wish him continued success, and I’m no fan of Auburn.

tide roll

September 19th, 2011
8:56 am

These blogs do regard recruiting. Bobo heads across three time zones to Missouri to RECRUIT and eventually sign Logan Gray. All the while the greatest Quarterback in the history of college football lives an hour from UGA’s campus. Then, when Bobo has a second shot at him, after Newton leads his Junior College to a National Title, UGA, as per their Head Coach Richt, apparently evaluate him as a “TIGHT END”! You can’t make this stuff up! This is a RECRUITING story. A HILARIOUS recruiting story!

JB

September 19th, 2011
9:25 am

When Cam came out of high school, Stafford, another number one pick by the way( Of the entire draft I mean) was lighting it up in Athens. How about that guy from a different time zone Mr. “we didn’t play football from Stallings to Saban”.

WinderDawg

September 19th, 2011
9:28 am

Scam was $180,000 to play QB. Georgia was just trying to get him cheaper as a TE.

Worm

September 19th, 2011
9:30 am

The NFL has become “arena” football..It’s a PENALTY if anybody hits anybody..Can’t hit the QB low,Can’t hit him high, can’t lead with the helmet..Perhaps the QB’s should just wear flags as in flag football…When Billy Volek had back to back 400 yard games, we should have been forewarned.
NFL is to football as restrictor plate racing is to Nascar..Turn em’ loose-It’s a violent sport which has become watered down..Jack Tatum,Ronnie Lott and Butkus have to be laughing their a$$es off.

JB

September 19th, 2011
9:30 am

I’m really sick of Bama folks coming on here acting like they never had a bad year…or years, hell , we beat up on you between Stallings and Saban. Have been caught cheating many times and had wins taken away by the NCAA. There is as much to be ashamed of as proud of.

slydog

September 19th, 2011
10:03 am

slydog

September 19th, 2011
10:04 am

If Cmr and UGA had given Cam money, would this even be an argument? No.

ATL Sports Fan

September 19th, 2011
10:49 am

I love how Tide Roll mouths off about Mark Richt recruiting him as a tight end. Seems to me like UGA at the time had another #1 overall draft pick playing QB for them. If Cam Newton was all that then why didn’t he beat out Tim Tebow? Please explain that one. Tide Roll will not. Yep, all Cam Newton does is win, well except in the NFL!

ATL Sports Fan

September 19th, 2011
10:52 am

Tide Roll your hilarious, you just can’t make stuff like this up!!

“Bobo heads across three time zones to Missouri to RECRUIT and eventually sign Logan Gray.”

Never knew Missiouri was three time zones from Georgia. Sir, you are aware that Missiouri is in the Central Time Zone. That is the same time zone as Alabama!!

My 7 year old daughter knows time zones.

just the truth

September 19th, 2011
11:05 am

@ Worm. I’m with you brutha. Good post.

ColoradoDawg

September 19th, 2011
11:42 am

I remember a liitle known QB playing for the San Diego Chargers was only recruited as a tight end out of high school by everyone who sent him letters. Another little known QB by the name of Vince Young had to threaten UT that he was going to sign with A&M because UT was recruiting him as a reciever not a QB. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP ;) You can’t win them all people. It’s the nature of the beast. We are on the outside looking in these recruiting battles.

ATL Sports Fan

September 19th, 2011
11:52 am

Interesting all this talk about Cam Newton and UGA recruiting him as a tight end. UGA had Matthew Stafford, who if he would have stayed through his senior year would have been through the 2009 season. Then you would have someone else take over in 2010. Plus, do people know why Cam Newton chose Florida over Mississippi State in 2007? Because they ran a SPREAD OPTION offense. Last time I checked UGA runs a pro style offense.

[...] Slaton, Newton’s high school coach told the AJC that “The Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator [Rob Chudzinski] is doing an outstanding job [...]

Football Fan

September 19th, 2011
12:19 pm

Actually ATL Sports Fan if you go back and look at Cams freshman Spring game, he outplayed Tebow but Tebow was already the chosen QB based off what he did his freshman year when they won the NC with Chris Leak.

As far as UGA recruitment of him, yes they dropped the ball on their evaluations but they allowed Eric Berry to leave the state that year also because of evaluations or lack thereof I should say. Rivals had Eric listed as the #1 CB in the nation that year but Eric never played CB in HS… CMR told Eric he was the best CB he ever saw on film.

Cam is showing everyone now what those who know him have known for a long time. Which is he is highly competitive, hardworker, a natural leader, and has the capability of being a GREAT qb in the NFL. Regardless of what you think of him personally because of things you have read and assume, there is no denying that the kid is a special talent and so far he has answered every question the critics had about him.

Football Fan

September 19th, 2011
12:21 pm

And actually, they evaluated him as a TE coming out of HS not out of JUCO even though he was a 5 star QB…

DC

September 19th, 2011
12:25 pm

Eddie,

It wasn’t theft from the PC..he bought a stolen PC..check the records..who hasn’t cheated at school…man up on that one…180K..show me where the money is…also with his character..every player at AU loved him…all the players at carolina have said that he has won them over with his leadership and will to work hard to win these guys over….

Stop fishing..

Dawg NG

September 19th, 2011
12:29 pm

Don’t know why some other Georgia fans who can’t do math always mention Stafford. Cam Newton would’ve been the perfect superstar to take over at QB for three years for the Dawgs AFTER Stafford left for the NFL.

Mark Richt blew this one and everybody knows it. Cam Newton is a very special player player and best of luck to him in the NFL. It would’ve been nice seeing him play QB in Athens for three years. We would’ve won three BCS championships because we had better talent around him than Auburn.

DC

September 19th, 2011
12:36 pm

Also, see the comments Aaron Rodgers made after the game…very kind words about Cam

0-2 MVP candidate

September 19th, 2011
2:03 pm

What a joke. Once the Packers started trying they rolled. Once the film gets out to the NFL coordinators and gets broken down, everyone will start to wonder why he isn’t playing tight end.

DC

September 19th, 2011
2:06 pm

that doesn’t even make sense…he is a drop back passer..it isn’t like there is a gimmick…pure hatred..

0-2 MVP candidate

September 19th, 2011
2:07 pm

Tmania
September 19th, 2011
6:57 am

This kid just wins

He is 0-2. And you have him MVP. Idiot

0-2 MVP candidate

September 19th, 2011
2:10 pm

DC
September 19th, 2011
2:06 pm

that doesn’t even make sense…he is a drop back passer..it isn’t like there is a gimmick…pure hatred..

He did not win in college as a drop back passer. He hasn’t won a game in the NFL as a drop back passer. He threw for a lot of yards in a loss against a bad Arizona team. He played decent against the sleep walking reigning super bowl champs, yet when it matter…lost.

0-2 and you have him as your MVP.

Terrell

September 19th, 2011
2:19 pm

0-2 MVP candidate

Well you have to consider that he is on the worst team (record-wise last year) in football. He has one true WR in Smith and two TEs in Olsen and Shockey. Compare that to what the Packers had and they were in the game the whole time. Even with the 3 ints the game was still close. He may not be MVP but to be able to do what he did against the Packers secondary isn’t something to ignore.

slydog

September 19th, 2011
2:33 pm

02 MVP

One thing is a fact: Cam has won more in life at the age of 22 years than you have so far!!!

If CMR would have properly evaluated him, this guy would have been the starter in 2009 and 2010. Erase 8-5 and 6-7 seasons. Check. Pro-style or Spread option, football is football and QB is QB. Cam would have had 2 years to learn the system. It seems he has learned a “pro-style” offense in only 4 weeks of training camp, 4 pre-season games playing part time, and 2 regular season games. I wonder how two years at UGA learning that vanilla crap we run would have turned out.

Blackoutanyone?

September 19th, 2011
3:14 pm

Took a pay cut with Carolina. Congrats to Dabo and his Clemson Tigers. First of many losses this year for the barn.

Tmania

September 19th, 2011
3:29 pm

0-2 – Your an idiot…nobody has claimed him as MVP. Keep looking at life on top of that Pedestal your on. Eventually you’ll fall, hope those around you show you some grace and forgiveness……..If you aren’t impressed with what he’s done so far, you’re just an idiot. Regardless of whatever you think of him. Nobody is telling Tom Brady he’s played the Dolphins and Chargers….lets wait and see what he does against a real team. So why is Cam being treated differently? And just for the record, no, I’m not saying he is Tom Brady, but lets compare apples to apples.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

shoes

September 20th, 2011
9:00 am

payoffs still going on?

really?

September 20th, 2011
9:34 am

All of you badmouthing UGA for their take on recruiting Newton need to realize that maybe, just maybe he wasn’t that good coming out of highscool. He was at UF and never played there either before he “decided” to transfer. He had 1 year as a starter. Sounds like more than UGA slept on this guy.
@TideRoll – everyone should know that TideRoll knows more about UGA and spends more time crying about what UGA does than he does his own beloved Tide. He’s an expert on recruiting!! I can’t understand why this redneck isn’t recruiting for someone in the NCAA?!?!?

Football Fan

September 20th, 2011
10:50 am

@really… He was a 5 star recruit coming out of HS Was rated the #2 dual threat QB after Tyrod Taylor. No one slept on him. UGA did not correctly evaluate him point blank period. They went and signed Logan Gray.

Tdawg

September 20th, 2011
11:02 am

CMR why don’t you go find the tallest structure in you town or county and take a leap of faith, because that is what you do whenever you gamble on taking an athlete as a QB. May turn out to be a great catch and maybe he turns out to be like most of the so called athletic QB’s. A dud. There’s not a single head coach in this country that hasn’t made a bad call on a high school player. Most likely you hate the dawgs and will take any chance to take a shot at them. You must live a pretty pathetic exsistence. He wouldn’t have came to Georgia even if coach offerd him the starting QB job anyway. Georgia couldn’t have afforded him.

P.S., if you need help finding that tall structure. Tell me where you live and I will be happy to help you find it.

Tdawg

September 20th, 2011
11:09 am

Turd Row is just jealous because his turd coach didn’t offer the greatest QB in the history of the game. Now you really can’t make this crap up. Well maybe he turd roll can?

Tdawg

September 20th, 2011
11:16 am

This may be off the beaten subject. I may not be the most gifted person when it come’s to knowing the NCAA rule book or the NCAA rules infractions committee’s punishment guidlines for rule breakers, but will someone please tell me. How did AJ Greens selling his own personell property warrent a 5 game suspension and these Miami players only a 1 game suspension for taking money and other gilfts from a booster for well over a year? I have to be missing something here, so if someone could please enlightin me here, please do so because I am at my witts end on this one.

Bull

September 21st, 2011
12:57 am

Carvell quit censoring legitimate and clean comments just because you don’t like them. You spout off your garbage about the SEC. You should actually think about your own tweets and comments sometime. Have you bothered to read several other blogs making you look like a complete idiot by reposting your tweets?

And by the way, so even though youre own READERS question a non relevant article about Cam Newton and you back handedly reply you will cone up with more irrelevant stories about former high school kids?

Bull

September 21st, 2011
1:03 am

Anyone wondering if UGA “missed” on $cam. You seem to forget that he could not hit the broad side of a barn passing while he was at Florida. Meyer/Mullen were quoted saying how he was not ready for QB out of high school. Even in his first couple years in college he was a QB bust

Bull

September 21st, 2011
1:32 am

Hey AJC college football recruiting fans, Mr. Carvell thinks his readers are crazy for being passionate about the very subject he covers. And to quote Mr. Carvell … (via Mark Bradley) College football has long been a dirty business, but it’s bigger and dirtier than ever. The strange spectacle of recruiting has become a sport unto itself. (Esteemed colleague Michael Carvell offers the best description I’ve heard: “A lot of fans would rather see their team get a big commitment than score a touchdown on Saturday.”)

Sure sounds to me like AJC is pretty arrogant about it’s readers and loves to have a condescending attitude about us.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]