If you go back and watch DeMarcus Sweat’s 56 yard touchdown scamper, you’ll notice a key block from a fellow receiver that made the big play happen. That receiver wasn’t La’Rod King or Aaron Boyd. Nope, it wasn’t Gene McCaskill, Daryl Collins, or DeMarco Robinson. It wasn’t any of the tight ends, either. The block came from Kentucky’s former starting quarterback, Morgan Newton, who stepped out of the pocket to join the pass catchers on the outside.
Newton tried his hand at new positions in the second half of last night’s win over Kent State once the game had gotten out of hand. It was kind of odd seeing him lined up at tight end, in the slot, and at H-back, but he showed fans that he’s capable of contributing wherever the team needs him.
After the game, Joker spoke about utilizing Newton’s size and athleticism and how important it is to have him on the field, not just on the bench as Max Smith’s backup.
“We’ve only got so many guys on the team that are 6’3”, 235 or 240 lbs., and run like he runs and has his athletic ability,” Joker said. “I told him last spring, if he wasn’t our starting quarterback, he wasn’t going to stand on the sideline next to me.”
It’s quite the sacrifice for Newton, a former All-American quarterback in high school, to take on a new role in his senior year of college. And that sacrifice isn’t going unnoticed.
“Morgan has been phenomenal,” Joker said of his senior’s commitment to helping the team. “He’s all about Kentucky and Kentucky winning.”
Newton was big in Kentucky’s win at Auburn as a freshman quarterback thrown into the fire in 2009. In 2012, he could be just as big to the offense, but not under center.
Fans should be excited — or at least intrigued — to see what Newton can do with his new job.