Cameron Newton should unanimously win the 2010 Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player. The investigation into his father, Cecil, is ongoing but Cam is proving to be a special player and individual. His performance against South Carolina (335 yards passing 4 TDs, 73 yards rushing 2 TDs) in the SEC Championship game is one of the all-time classic performances.
With the exception of Tim Tebow, college football has not had a player mean more to his team and university than Newton. The following is what I feels make him completely unique.
- Resilience – His ability to perform at a high level under the cloud of a NCAA investigation has been amazing. Many times the difference between a successful and unsuccessful person is one simply chooses to get back up after getting knocked down. Leaders, when you are knock down do you continually keep getting back up?
- Composure – Auburn trailed in 8 of their 13 victories this year. Newton had the capacity to remain calm and keep his teammates focused of coming back one play at a time. Leaders, when your team is not performing well do you panic or trust your ability and past performance?
- Work Ethic – Newton’s ability to learn the Spread Offense and his 2nd half conditioning are indicators of the hard work and sweat equity he has put in this season. Leaders, do you lead by example in the areas of hard work and effort?
- Leadership Skills – One of the memorable moments of the college football season was Newton inspiring his team prior to the Georgia game. What made this memorable was the timing as the story of the recruiting scandal had broken earlier in the week. Leaders, do you focus on raising the performance level of others regardless of what you are facing personally?
- Loyalty – Whether Cecil Newton erred or not, to date Cam has not dishonored his father. One person’s character does not determine your’s. Leaders, do you remain committed in good times and bad to those who have invested in you?
- Maturity – Cam’s mistakes as a freshman have now become public record. We have all made mistakes, particularly in our youth. Cam appears to have learned from his and has matured greatly. Leaders, are you learning from your mistakes?
- Personal Growth – Cam has developed into a quality pocket passer as the season progressed. His skills as a dual-threat athlete make him almost indefensible. Leaders, are you constantly looking for ways to expand and improve your skills?
- Attitude – Not since Magic Johnson was at Michigan State in 1978-79 has an athlete’s smile seemed to embody the sheer enjoyment of collegiate athletics. Attitude makes you attractive and draws people to you. Attitude also determines your altitude and no one is flying higher than Newton currently. Leaders, does your attitude draw people to you or does it repel them?
- Self-Awareness – The moment is never bigger than Newton. He has risen to the challenge of beating six Top 25 teams this year. Leaders, do you have a proper self-image and rise to meet every challenge you face?
- Coachable – Newton runs offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s complicated system with multiple reads on each play flawlessly. This is the result of superior coaching and Cam’s ability to capture the information. Leaders, are you constantly learning and applying new knowledge?
If you are a Heisman voter and can’t bring yourself to vote for Cam Newton, simply abstain. Newton is a player and leader for the ages. I’m sure he will look forward to taking his skills to Buffalo, San Francisco, or Arizona next year.
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