When I was interviewing Blinn JC football coach Brad Franchione a few months ago he pointed to the stadium on campus and said said with pride that it was his team that re-painted the bleachers a few years ago.
A member of the team that helped paint those long benches was current Auburn QB Cameron Newton, who has shot up the Heisman rankings in recent weeks.
Having backed up Tim Tebow at Florida at two seasons, Newton didn't want to wait around any longer so he transferred to Blinn in Brenham, Texas. He went to Blinn after Franchione established a good relationship with Newton's father, who suggested Brenham was the place to be.
It was in Brenham where Newton helped lead the Buccaneers win a national title last season. It was also there where humility was shoved down Newton's throat.
"That was a humbling experience," Newton said today on a conference call. "I go from the University of Florida where you can get Gatorade at your beckon call to a place where you have to paint your stadium so the program looks like it's up to some kind of standard."
Newton is completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,278 yards with 13 TDs and 5 ints. He's also rushed 129 times for 860 yards with 12 TDs.
At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, he may be single most intimidating quarterback at the Division I level. If he's doing this to D-I defenders, imagine the level of embarrassment at the JC level.
He is the reason Auburn is undefeated and has a shot at the national title game.
As difficult as it was for Newton to leave Florida, arriving in Brenham and playing JC ball was more of a problem.
"It was a cluture shock for the most part. I was a stressful state of mind, to say the least, in the first few months," Newton said. "For me, coming from a big city and Gainesville (Fla.), I saw college football at the highest level. To take a major step down was hard for me."
Newton is highly complimentary of Coach Brad Franchione.
"I was happy I went the junior college route because of my relationship with coach Fran' and how I improved as a person," Newton said.
The only thing Newton didn't get to do was visit the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory in Brenham. His loss. Coach Fran had taken the previous years team to Blue Bell. Newton's team got to re-paint the stadium.
- Mac Engel
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