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Morgan Newton taking things in stride

Morgan Newton entered the Wildcats program on a blistering high note. Alongside fellow four-star pro-style quarterback Ryan Mossakowski, Newton spurned a number of high-profile offers to play at Kentucky, including Clemson, Florida, Illinois and South Carolina. Newton and Mossakowsi were the chosen ones, selected to keep Kentucky climbing the SEC ladder.

Fast forward three seasons where Mossakowski has transferred to a junior college and Newton is second on the depth chart. Not exactly the original plan coming to life.

No. 12 has had his share of opportunities, and absolutely seen his moments of glory. Go back to October of 2009 when he led the Cats to their first victory over Auburn since 1966 in his very first collegiate start at quarterback. Filling in for the injured Mike Hartline, fans were ready to hoist the “Newton 4 Heisman” banners in the coming seasons.

However, if Remember the Titans taught us anything, it’s that, “You’re only as good as your last game.” And the last thing most Kentucky fans remember of Newton is his season fizzling out against South Carolina, Jacksonville State and Mississippi State in 2011. The final few games Maxwell Smith took over the starting duties and impressed enough people to boost him ahead on the depth chart.

It’s not easy being Morgan Newton, but he’s not giving up. Jennifer Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader explains why he just keeps on trucking and is poised to be in the thick of the QB competition this fall.

“When you’re the backup, everyone wants you to come in and save the universe,” Kentucky’s senior said of the back-up quarterback role he’s played several times over the years. “You kind of wear the cape. It’s unrealistic.”

Expectations of the starting quarterback are unrealistic, too, Newton said, knowing that from experience as well.

“When you’re the starter, if things don’t go right, it comes back on the quarterback, regardless if it’s completely his fault or not,” he said at UK’s Media Day. “It comes with the territory. You have to take it in stride.”

There is an old saying that the backup quarterback is the most popular guy on the team. Maybe that will work for Newton in this, his senior season. Read more on Newton at the Herald-Leader’s website.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

20 Comments for Morgan Newton taking things in stride

  1. Maxwell
    1:38 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    The idea of Morgan Newton starting for UK this year makes makes me worried. It has to be Maxwell Smith. It just has to be.

  2. True Cats fan
    2:04 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Put Towles in. We ain’t gonna be nothing this season whether we luck out or not. We need Towles to get experience for next season and future seasons. We’ll get a new coach next year and won’t waste this one on Newton trying to get his and putting the interests of the team second.

  3. ebell
    2:23 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Mossakwski isn’t at a juco he is now at a FCS school which tells me Joker picked the better of the two. Just like he did when he selected Hartline over Newton. Joker will play his best option who I believe will be Newton. Go Cats!!!

  4. TrueBlueCatsFan
    2:30 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    I have been a Kentucky fan my entire life. I am not just a fan of the basketball team. I am a fan of every team UK has ever put on a court, field, pool, etc. I am soo tired of you so-called fans that bad-mouth, and bring pessimism to the Football Cats. We have surely had our ups and our downs… But those that can’t stick beside our team when it is at its worst… Are simply bandwagon an have no right to be called BBN. don’t you realize that we don’t pull top recruits and coaches because the recruits and coaches know that our football fans are fair weather? They don’t want to play/coach for a team that only has support in the good times. Everyone needs the support in the hard times to make it through. I will end this rant now… But please understand that things will not change for our football team until you start to believe. I guarantee that the program will turn around if the so-called greatest fan base backs our guys. I know you can do it! Go Cats! (btw… Nice support #3!)

  5. ukfaninohio
    2:36 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    All teams have there fair weather fans but i kinda think we have more than most GO.BIG.BLUE.

  6. True Cats fan
    2:40 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    4 – boy you got some nerve calling out other Cats fans just because they don’t want to put up with the football version of Tubby. I can tell you ain’t been a fan too long or you’d be sick of losing. Stop giving support to a failing regime and get your head screwed on straight. We need a change and less ****-riding fans like you.

  7. Finally
    2:43 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    2) your statement is so idiotic. We need Towles to redshirt this season. If he is playing then this will be the worst season ever. If he is our future at QB why throw him to the wolves as a true freshman and destroy his confidence? Also, if joker is going to be fired, then play newton that way we don’t risk getting any of our young QB’s injured and don’t force Towles or Whitlow to waste a year of eligibility and a year of learning an offense just to have to learn a whole new offense again next year. That would be like forcing them to be freshman for two years in a row. Play the senior, let joker get fired, redshirt the young guys, and start over fresh and new next spring…if joker getting fired really is what’s best. Every joker hater should really be pulling for morgan newton to be our starting QB.

  8. True Cats fan
    2:52 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    7 – you callin me a idiot but you want to forfeit a year with no growth for Towles. Glad you ain’t making any decisions boy cuz you’d cause Towles to transfer while kicking the can down the road. Joker is gonna be around longer than he should bc of the PR nightmare it would cause. We might as well root for him even tho he ain’t one of us. You really think Towles needs that much time to learn Joker’s stupid simple system?

  9. RedshirtPatrickTowels
    2:55 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Redshirt Patrick Towels.

  10. Cat4Life
    3:13 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you #4! Someone had to say it! Oh… And #6… You obviously don’t “get it”. He/she is just saying that te team MUST have our support or we will only continue to lose! Anyway…Keep hatin if you want to sound like a UL fan… You have your right to your opinion. I am proud to be a Wildcat Football fan… Win or lose!

  11. TrueBlueCatsFan
    3:18 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Stop giving support to my team!?!? You are out of your mind! I will support this team if they lose every game this season. I will be in the stands for every home game and a couple away games as well. I don’t understand why you don’t understand that things won’t change without your support… But I guess you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink! Meanwhile… A recruit just read your downgrading comment towards the team and chose Tennessee over us. Thanks! All that I ask it that you support them… Or keep your mouth shut. I don’t understand a fan that doesn’t support… That is NOT a fan!

  12. TrueBlueCatsFan
    3:21 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Definition of a Fan:
    A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art or entertainment form, or famous person.
    #6… You do not fall under this definition. Please stop labeling yourself as such.

  13. Finally
    3:26 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Not saying toeless cant learn the system, but it just makes sense to redshirt him. if winning this year is what’s important then we need to start max smith. He did a considerably better job than newton did with the exact same receivers, and we have even more receivers this year. I wasn’t saying we should forfeit, I was saying if people want joker fired then playing newton would make the most sense to give the young guys another year to develop and learn without being thrown to the wolves and having their confidence destroyed. Playing either of the freshman makes no sense whatsoever, we should be redshirting as many freshman as we possibly can each and every year for the benefit of the players to develop them and give them time to grow. People what uk to win like an elite program but also want us to play true freshman? How many elite programs play true freshman? There are only two options for uk at QB regardless of what joker tells us. Maxwell Smith for those fans that want to be competitive this year and want to continue to develop our young core of good, young, athletic ball players. Those fans must be willing to accept a few bumps in the road and be able to accept a less than .500 season while knowing we will return all but 3 starters on offense next year. Then there is Morgan Newton who provided the senior leadership and has shown the ability to win some big games in the past but must recover from a terrible year last year. He likely won’t give us as good a chance to win and likely gives all joker haters a better chance to see him fired, but he does give us a chance to not get any of our young qbs injured and allows us to redshirt the true freshmen. True Cat Fan, I don’t know what you have been drinking this morning but you really need to sober up and pull your head out of your…nevermind. Your not worth me wasting any more time over this morning. Idiots will be idiots, just ask LSU fans and they will agree.

  14. tyson
    4:43 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    #4–if you are not an Obama supporter will you still go vote for him and expect him to change if he is re-elected? saying we should support our team even though we don’t like the product is not intelligent. that is NOT how you cause change. you cause change by NOT supporting an inferior product. it is sad that college kids are getting punished due to Joker and Mitch, but not going to games and letting our voices be heard are the only way to get a new coach. it’s like when people said “i love the troops but don’t support the war”.

  15. Cats no dogy
    5:01 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    Why is it that stories about Smith, Newton and Whitlow always result in comments about how bad they are?

  16. catfan68
    10:41 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    #4 I am sick of people like you trying to blame us fans for the problems with the football team. If we have such piss poor fans, then tell me why Commonwealth Stadium is usually full of fans supporting the team even when they are down (example the Curry years). It is not the fan’s fault that we have a coach who is in over his head. And you say all we have to do is believe…It sounds like you’ve been drinking Joker’s Kool-aid because that is all he kept saying to Matt Jones in last week’s interview. I am sorry but it is not fan’s lack of faith that makes us play poorly on the field!!!!! We need an administration that is willing to comit to better facilites and coaches if we really want to see a difference. The problem is not with the fans.

  17. TrueBlueCatsFan
    11:58 pm August 11, 2012 Permalink

    No one is making you guys be fans. Why can’t you just enjoy watching football and support these kids! I have said nothing about supporting Joker… I understand that no one likes him. Fair enough. Why am I having my head chewed off for supporting these kids though? They are still kids… And they need your support. Joker is the coach for this season… We already have our roster. Let’s save the hate for after the season… Because nothing is changing tomorrow.
    wtf does this have to do with the presidential race? These are two very different topics…
    Also… I have had season tickets since 75… Our fans are all about these boys when they are winning… But when they are losing only the true remain… And it isn’t 68,000.
    I’m just trying to explain to you that every recruit that reads KSR is reading these negative comments and wondering why he should come to Kentucky an every player is reading it and losing hope in his fanbase. Think about someone other than yourself.

  18. catfan68
    2:52 am August 12, 2012 Permalink

    #17 I still say it is not the fans fault that we don’t have a winning football program. I have been a season ticket holder since 1986 and even through some of the worst years in UK football history I was still amazed how the fans showed up and cheered their butts off. So I will say it again…You can’t blame the fans for the football woes and we all can “just believe” until the cows come home and that will not change a thing. You seem dissatisfied with fan turn out (I am amazed that so many turn out for a sub-par product) maybe if the administration/AD took football seriously and made improvements, more fans would show up and support the program. You say recruits read the negative comments on here and wonder why he should come to UK…Well I wonder how many of them look at our coach/facilities and wonder the same thing????

  19. catfan68
    3:02 am August 12, 2012 Permalink

    A recruit just saw another screen pass on 3rd and 10 and picked Tennessee over us…thanks Joker.

  20. catfan68
    3:04 am August 12, 2012 Permalink

    A recruit just saw our facilities/or lack there of and chose Tennessee over us…thanks UK Administration/AD.