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It’s Morgan Newton’s Time

Morgan Newton

In this article from the Courier-Journal written by C.L. Brown the leadership qualities of Morgan Newton are put on display in preparation for what could be a defining, breakout season for the quarterback. Morgan has already taken to organizing the 7-on-7 events for the team, scheduling games with local schools like Georgetown College and EKU. In addition, he has spent long amounts of time studying game footage not only tape from the past season, but also from the Andre Woodson era. The latter endeavor is only enhanced by the presence of the former UK great on the coaching staff. Morgan says he wants to transfer the successful elements of those Woodson-led teams to his squad in the upcoming season.

In contrast to the rough start of last season, when Newton expected to win the starting quarterback job, only to find himself backup to the incumbent Hartline again, Newton has devoted himself to being the leader that this team needs and his teammates have taken notice. Brown talked to senior linebacker, Ronnie Sneed, who said that Morgan started to change when he lost the position battle last year. “You could tell he was upset that he didn’t win that starting position, but I believe that pushed him to prove a point,” Sneed said. In addition to Sneed’s assessment of his different attitude, senior cornerback, Randall Burden, gave the new quarterback a ringing endorsement. “Morgan’s a workaholic. He’s working more and harder than he has in past years. He’s going to take this team on and lead it,” Burden said. With two of the team’s defensive leaders for next year throwing their support behind Newton, it’s likely that the rest of the players will follow suit. With rumors of a divided locker room over the decision to name Hartline the starter last year, a solid backing for Newton could make a world of difference in his development and the fostering of credibility with his teammates.

After leading the team to a 5-3 record in his eight starts as a freshmen and a forgettable performance last season in the 27-10 BBVA Compass Bowl loss to Pitt, expectations aren’t through the roof for Newton’s first crack at being a full-time starter. However, that may be just want he needs in the beginning. The loudest critics of Newton are quick to forget that Andre Woodson struggled in his first two seasons at UK. Newton doesn’t have as many proven playmakers around him as Woodson did, but he does have a talented complement of skill players with whom he can make his own legacy. I’m a big Morgan Newton fan and I expect him to live up to the signing day billing with which he came to Kentucky.

Yesterday, Will Lentz cited an ESPN article that named Raymond Sanders the X-factor of next year’s team. Will disagreed and so do I. This team will ride on the arm of Morgan Newton and, at this time, I’m confidently optimistic that he will be successful. Newton has the tools and the desire to be a big-time SEC quarterback and there’s no one who I’d rather see lead the Kentucky Wildcats next season.

Article written by Matthew Hays

19 Comments for It’s Morgan Newton’s Time

  1. Jason
    4:07 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    There was no locker room divide because of the decision to start Hartline last year.

  2. UKBIgDaddy
    4:11 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    It’s going to be up to the defense this season, more so than the offense….

  3. Motodog12
    4:13 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    After 3 years, the lightbulb seemed to just come on for Harline in I believe the South Carolina game. After that he was confident enough to throw downfield, and he did it well. Will the same thing happen to Newton. As of now, he hasn’t been able to throw the ball downfield against a d-2 school.

  4. Just Sayin...
    4:25 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    I’m so glad to see a well written article about football on this site!!!!

  5. AJ
    4:37 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    X-Factor =/= leader. Get it right.

  6. Jason
    4:49 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    5. Leader doesnt always have to be the QB. With a QB like Newton with so much potential to be a very good SEC QB, he is the x factor. If he doesn’t reach that potential, our strong o line and good stable of RB’s will struggle to take advantage in the run game because opposing defenses will stack the box, JUST LIKE 2008. That’s the season we are looking at if Newton doesnt improve. 6-6, bad offense. With him good, i think we can get 7-5 with a good SEC offense, average defense. That’s why he’s the x-factor, it could go either way with him, and our team is riding on it.

  7. Moses
    4:55 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    7-5?? Haha keep dreaming. We will be lucky to ever get 7 again with the joke

  8. Rooster Boot
    4:57 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    KSR desktop application:

  9. Moses
    4:57 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink


  10. Well pilgrim, I gotta tell ya
    5:03 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    7 – You are a “Nattering Nabob of Negativisim”… William Saphire would say. I think 7-5 is possible

  11. chad
    5:33 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    not second guessing anyone but how can you predict 6-6 if Newton underperforms and 7-5 if he develops well. Just asking I might have interpretted it incorrectly

  12. Lou eaton
    5:49 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    Well, I hope we don’t get into another Pooky Jones scenario where we want Newton to do everything and forget that we have some good players at receiver and running back….Curry was a disaster for UK and Joker could be if he allows Newton to become the total focus for this team…

  13. Football Man
    7:15 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    If Andre can transform Morgan to play the way he did his last 2 yrs. then things are about to get good!Everybody pray Dr. Dre can do his thang!

  14. rhtwo
    8:25 pm July 8, 2011 Permalink

    Newton is a dummy, hope he spends more time learning the playbook than he does organizing scrimmages where he continues to show that he was a mistake offer. People fail to remember that no matter what you say about Woodson, he was NOT a great UK quarterback and his second two years had more to do with his receivers than his arm or his smarts. This was demonstated by his inability to succeed in the pros. Continued comparison to Woodson only hurts this schmuck, he needs to get smarter not more talented.

  15. Matt in Franklin
    8:33 am July 9, 2011 Permalink

    We will know Newton is the man when the first 4th and 1 rolls around and he bulls his way to the first down. Last year he did not look like he had the confidence or the desire to convert those on the ground last year.

  16. UKfanNKY
    9:35 am July 9, 2011 Permalink

    #7 YOU are the JOKE pal!!! Keep your negative WORTHLESS comments to yourself!!! #14 glad you know the game of football so well and the QB’S. Sounds like you should be a coach….ha NOT cause YOU don’t know crap!!! GO CATS!!!

  17. Football Man
    11:12 am July 9, 2011 Permalink

    Coach Sanders has made a difference w/every QB @ some point. Woodson, Hartline, and now it’s your turn Newton…

  18. 2020
    2:06 pm July 9, 2011 Permalink

    Studying Andre Woodson tape? Try Kellen Moore, Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy tape.

    If I’m a .250 hitter in baseball, I’m studying the guy on the other team hitting .380, not my teammate hitting .280.

  19. Natural Born World Shaker
    11:56 pm July 9, 2011 Permalink

    Everybody’s got a lil’ Captain in ’em