RECRUITING: Just A Rumor Says Newton’s Dad

Cecil Newton first heard the rumor that his son, Atlanta Westlake quarterback Cameron Newton, was out for the rest of the season with either a broken ankle or a broken leg back on Monday. Since then he’s been answering one phone call after another, telling everybody the same thing, but nobody seems to believe him.

“He’s fine,” Cecil Newton told Gator Country Tuesday afternoon. “Watch our press conference Thursday night. He’ll be walking and wearing dress shoes … no cast, no braces, no crutches. Even Ray Charles will be able to see that Cameron’s leg or ankle isn’t broken. You’ll either have to believe me now when I’m telling you he’s just fine or else you’re going to have to believe I brought in a faith healer about an hour before we go on TV to announce. When you see him, he’ll be all right.”

Cameron Newton is set to make his college commitment Thursday at 7 p.m. with Scott Kennedy on CSS-TV in a press conference held at Atlanta’s Westlake High School. The four-star rated (by quarterback will be making his choice between Florida, Oklahoma and Mississippi State.

“Everybody will be able to see for themselves that he doesn’t have a broken leg or a broken ankle,” said Cecil Newton. “I keep telling people that now but I guess some people have a hard time believing it. I don’t know what I can say other than he’s fine. I guess they have to see it to believe it. Well, they can see it Thursday night when we announce it with Scott Kennedy.”

Cameron Newton got hurt early in the fourth quarter last Friday night with Westlake leading in its season opener, 22-13. Westlake not only lost Newton for the rest of the game, but it lost the game 27-22 by giving up two touchdowns in the final ten minutes.

On the play that Cameron Newton was injured, he was moving around in the pocket when he got hit from the side.

“His ankle rolled up under him when the defensive end hit him and he left the game and didn’t come back,” said Cecil Newton. “What he actually did was tweak the tendon. We saw the sports medicine specialist for the Atlanta Falcons Saturday morning and he confirmed that. Cameron ran for the first time yesterday and he had some slight discomfort but he’s fine. We’ll get a release today (Wednesday) from the team doctor and he’ll be good to go Friday night.”

Cecil Newton said he first started hearing rumors that Cameron had broken either the leg or the ankle Monday and he’s been hearing them ever since.

“I am fairly certain where this started because there are some people around here that are very upset that he’s not going to go to school somewhere closer to Atlanta, Georgia than either Gainesville, Florida or Norman, Oklahoma,” said Cecil Newton, who played college football at Savannah State University in the 1980s. “You probably wouldn’t believe some of the stuff we’ve heard. It’s pretty crazy.”

Cecil Newton wouldn’t give any hints about which school his son will be choosing Thursday evening.

“All three of them are great schools with great coaches,” he said. “You’ve got Bobby Stoops at Oklahoma and they’ve won how many national championships there? Urban Meyer is one of the bright young coaches in the country and you see the talent he’s bringing in at Florida and you know he’s going to win a national championship before too long. Sylvester Croom is one of these coaches we really respect and we believe he’s going to build Mississippi State into a powerhouse. He’s building things the right way there.

“We’ve got three choices and we can’t go wrong with any of them. The only thing is we can’t pick but one of them.”

And how will the final decision be made?

“We’ve been practicing coin flips,” said Cecil Newton with a laugh.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.