Newton could, like Woodson in 2006, have his breakout season this year
One of the most telling signs that a coaching staff is doing something right is when players who seemingly ‘just didn’t get it’ turn things around and become their team’s leader. This season, Morgan Newton has a chance to show the (Big Blue) world that he finally gets it. We’ve mentioned this before, but Andre Woodson and Tee Martin have taken Newton under their wing, and this could make a world of difference for the budding UK quarterback.
Woodson, who was expected to lose the QB-battle to Curtis Pulley his junior season, went from a mediocre player to one of the most successful quarterback’s in Wildcat history. Martin was even more successful, with a national title under his belt at Puke Orange Junior College UT. If anyone could show Morgan the light, it’s these guys. Randy Sanders, the QB coach, wasn’t having much success last season in getting through to him. Let’s check out some quotes from the coaches that really tells the story of Newton’s maturation:
“It went in one ear and out the other.”
“He thought the job was going to be handed to him.”
“We talked for a long time. That was the first time we’d had a real serious-type conversation. Since then he’s been over to my house and we’ve been talking a lot more. He’s opened up.”
“I’m jealous of Morgan. What college quarterback can say that he has on his staff two former quarterbacks in the SEC that are young, recently played and have been coached by the same coach that’s coaching him? He is blessed.”
“The influence of me and Andre’ being here has given him confirmation that ‘If these two jokers can do it, I know I can.’“
“Coming from his high school, he was obviously the best athlete out there. There was nobody to compete with. He’s done a wonderful job this summer of listening and catching on and trying to compete with himself. That’s a thing he used to not do.”
“He’s got to continue to work hard. If he does, I think he can definitely leave his mark here. He’s taken full advantage of the situation he’s in. We’re teaching him how to be the best quarterback he can be, trying to teach him to be the best quarterback in the conference.”
“It’s not an accident that they’re here. When I get on him about something, Andre’ can say, ‘He used to get on me about the same thing.’ And he can see that once Andre’ got it, he had success. You can’t overstate the value of that.”
“Truly a blessing. I try not to take it for granted.” (re: Woodson and Martin)
“Sometimes you respond differently to guys who are closer to your age.”
I understand this is a lot of big talk for a kid who hasn’t even gotten a chance to prove that he’s really matured to the level we are hoping, but in order for this season to be as successful as possible, UK needs Morgan to be a star. Believe in blue, right? Here’s to hoping Morgan Newton has really turned that corner and reaches his potential.