As of Saturday, Cam Newton is officially a part of the New England Patriots‘ 53-man roster. He’s the starting quarterback and one of the team captains. Still, the former NFL MVP sees some parallels between where he is now, and where he was more than 10 years ago when he was at tiny Blinn College.
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The Journey Before the NFL and the Carolina Panthers
Many people know all about Newton carrying the Auburn Tigers to the National Championship in 2011, but some are unfamiliar with his time at Blinn College.
Newton landed there after he was kicked off the Florida Gators football team for conduct unbecoming a member of the squad. Blinn gave Newton an opportunity to rebuild himself as a football player and a man. This is a little different, but perhaps now, you see why when Newton was asked how he will handle playing in front of no fans beginning next Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Cam Newton Talks About How He’ll Handle Playing With No Fans in the Stands
Newton was asked what it will feel like to play with no fans present at the stadium. As he said, it’s not something he’s totally unaccustomed to as he points to his days at Blinn.
There’s many times we played games in front of . . . ourselves. It was meaningful games, but at the end of the day everybody didn’t necessarily show up. I don’t play this game just for the validation of people. I love the fans and I love the energy that our fans do bring. I can’t wait, because that’s something that I’ve never seen (in New England) but something that I’ve witnessed on the other side . . . I can’t wait until the doors open. But, for me, this is not a foreign position for me to be in because I’ve played in front of nobody before. At the end of the day, it’s gonna come down to being very strategic on both sides to see who executes the most or who executes the best.”
Beyond the similarly small crowds, Newton is also used to being in a position where he has to prove himself. When he arrived in Gainesville, he was one of the most highly touted prospects to come out of the high school football ranks.
His own mistakes ruined that opportunity, and with a second chance at Blinn, he turned that into success at Auburn, in Carolina, and now he has won the job with the Patriots.
“I would describe this particular atmosphere on a higher level — and when I say ‘higher’ I really mean ‘higher’ — it’s kind of like junior college,” Newton said. “I feel like in a lot of ways, at this point in my life, it kind of feels like that as well. I have so much to prove with an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Hopefully, he capitalizes on it as he has in the past.