As a Charlotte resident of nearly 10 years, I share with the rest of the city an undying love for our professional football team, the Carolina Panthers. Most Panthers fans are no strangers to Cam Newton, the player has evolved into a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback since his draft to the team in 2011. In support of the Panthers’ current standings of 8 wins and 0 losses, here are 10 interesting facts about quarterback Cam Newton:
1) Newton is the only modern football player to win the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in a NFL draft in a one-year period.
Cam Newton became the third Auburn football player to win a Heisman Trophy in 2010. After he was selected as first draft pick by the Panthers, he went on to be named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2011.
2) Cam Newton originally attended the University of Florida and played football for the Gators from 2007-2008.
As a freshman, he was selected as a back-up for fellow Gator Tim Tebow. Newton had to take a redshirt season for medical reasons after sustaining injuries during a 2008 season opener against Hawaii.
3) Newton was arrested in 2008 for stealing a laptop computer from another student.
Newton’s charges were dropped after attending a pre-trial program. He later said in an interview that, “I believe that a person should not be thought of as a bad person because of some senseless mistake that they made.”
4) Cam Newton transferred to Blinn College after the legal incidents at Florida and played football under coach Brad Franchione.
In that fall of 2009, Newton led his team to the NJCAA National Football Championship. During his time at Blinn, he also was named a Juco All-America honorable mention for football.
5) Newton holds the SEC record for being the first player to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
Newton achieved this record during a victory against Georgia that qualified Auburn to play in the SEC Championship game, where they won 28-27 against Alabama.
6) In 2010-2011, the NCAA held a 13-month investigation into allegations that Cam Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mississippi State University in exchange for Cam’s athletic participation.
The NCAA and Auburn both decided to declare Cam Newton eligible for the 2010 SEC Championship game under the premise that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that Cam was informed of Cecil’s actions.
7) Newton is very vocal about his Christian faith and has mentioned it in various motivational speeches.
Following the 2011 BCS Championship game, Newton said in an interview that, “It’s just a God thing. I thank God every single day. I’m just His instrument and He’s using me on a consistent basis daily.”
8) Newton was involved in a car crash that flipped his car in Charlotte in December of 2014.
Newton went to the hospital to receive treatment for two fractures in his back. He recovered in just 12 days and was able to return to the field.
9) Newton finished his degree in Sociology from Auburn University in spring of 2015.
He continued to take classes at Auburn during offseason periods so that he could complete his education and graduate.
10) Newton was the first quarterback in NFC South history to win back-to-back division championships.
He is also the first quarterback in NFL history to have a comeback victory in overtime when the team was trailing behind and holds the record for most rushing touchdowns (33 touchdowns) by a quarterback during his first four seasons.