Six takes on Cam Newton

Barring a considerable upset, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will become on Saturday the first player from Atlanta and the second from the metro area -- with Duluth's George Rogers in 1980 -- to win the Heisman Trophy.

To gain different perspectives on the Westlake High School grad, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with a variety of sources about Newton. Their responses follow.

What was it like to defend against him?

Anthony Mosley.

Mosley is a cornerback at Kentucky and a Tucker grad.

"I remember one play quite well. He got a crease in our defense and he got a little bit out of the pocket on the left side. I just ran over there and the angle that I had wasn't enough. He really broke the angle. Even on the field, it doesn’t look like he's running that fast but he obviously is."

"He was a phenomenal passer. A lot of times with big arms, you can throw it 70 yards but not be accurate. He can put it on a dime. To be so fast and so big, he puts challenges up for most every linebacker in the SEC, let alone a corner or a safety. He's an athlete of all athletes."

What was he like growing up?

Marie Caldwell

Caldwell taught Newton math at Camp Creek Middle School in Atlanta, where she continues to teach.

"He was probably a B student. Learning came naturally to him. It was difficult to get him to focus and settle down because he had a lot of energy. The same level of energy you see on the football field today is the same level we saw in the Camp Creek hallways. He was a child who liked to have a good time and laugh."

"He was a bright person, a joyful spirit and a really happy child. He was very friendly, had lots of friends and he had wonderful parents who were extremely supportive of him and his education. You just knew with the level of support he had at home that he was going to do big things. I'm incredibly proud of him. He comes here every school year to visit, just to say hello.

If he wins, where will Newton rank among Heisman winners?

Tom Luicci

Luicci is a college football writer for the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger and has been a Heisman voter since 1980.

I would say -- and this is counting Tim Tebow -- he's the most influential college football player since Barry Sanders in 1988. That's how much I believe he has elevated Auburn. It's not always about the numbers. They went 13-0 in the toughest division of the toughest league in the country and he continues to rally them to victory. With this player, if he completed 49 percent of his passes, it wouldn’t bother me."

"I think now that the eligibility issue is cleared up, I think this might be one of the widest margins we're going to see in Heisman history. Whoever you want to put second – LaMichael James, Kellen Moore, Terrelle Pryor – you can't argue who's first. I think it's going to be a landslide."

What has this season been like for Newton's family?

Kendrick Liles

Liles is an assistant principal at Camp Creek Middle School and has known the Newton family since Cam Newton was in middle school.

"I think it's been frustrating because they're painting a bad picture of the family, particularly Cameron's father, and it's taken the spotlight off of Cameron. He's obviously having a great year and he's doing that because of all the things that he's learned from his mother and father. I don't have enough knowledge to elaborate on the situation with the NCAA. But there's always more than we hear. The thing is, his dad is a guy of high character and high morals."

"It's been hard for Cameron, too. Cameron, though, is so competitive I guarantee that he's using what's being said about his father to motivate him each week. That's the type of kid he is."

How good was Newton in high school?

Dallas Allen

Allen coached Newton at Westlake and is now coach at Douglass.

"He was a really good player. He looks the same now as he did at Westlake. They tackled him by jumping on his back or tripping him up. He was as big as most defensive linemen and bigger than most linebackers. We worked with him on focusing, finishing the play and staying in the pocket."

"I can't recall who we were playing, but Cameron didn't play the first two quarters of one game. He was maybe late for practice or something like that. We were trailing big-time and I think my words to the coaches were, ‘We'll be fine when Mr. Newton gets in the ballgame.' We had 51 points in the second half. He was doing the same things as he's doing now."

Should he make himself eligible, what are Newton's prospects in the NFL draft?

Wes Bunting

Bunting is a scout for the National Football Post website.

"He's going to need a lot of time, but I think he could go high in the first round, to be honest. I could see him being the No. 2 quarterback off the board after Andrew Luck. There's not too many guys like him."

"He spins a clean football and he has a pretty good feel for the pocket. From a mental standpoint, he's trying to do the right things. The easiest way to say it is, he's a great physical piece of clay you can mold into a masterpiece."

"He has some character concerns – the stolen laptop, the academic allegations and the Mississippi State matter – that he'll have to answer before the draft. The team that takes him is going to have to have a good feeling about him personally."

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