ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s defensive players may have thought they had seen the last of big and athletic quarterbacks when Tim Tebow left Florida. But in Auburn’s Cameron Newton, they may be seeing an even better version.
“A lot of people compare him to Tim Tebow. But the way he moves, you can tell he moves a lot more fluidly than Tebow did,” Bulldog defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said. “And he’s bigger than Tebow was. For a guy that size, that height and that weight to move like he does, it’s something that people can’t really mimic.”
Not that the Bulldogs won’t try.
Cornerback Brandon Boykin said the team has a new player, whose name he couldn’t remember, who could mimic Newton. (There aren’t any new quarterbacks listed on the team’s roster. Boykin said he was a non-freshman who recently joined the team.)
“He’s just like Tebow, he’s like the same size and he runs people over and stuff,” Boykin said.
“He’s pretty athletic, so he’ll probably be Cam the rest of the week. So it’ll be interesting.”
This won’t be the first time Boykin has faced Newton: Newton was a senior at Westlake High in Atlanta when his team beat Boykin’s Fayette County team.
“Running-wise he’s probably about the same (as Tebow),” Boykin said. “But I’d say that Cameron has a lot stronger arm, and just the way he makes people miss; he can scramble around the pocket for five or six seconds. And that’s tough to cover, when you’re trying to cover someone that long.
“So it’s going to be a tough task. But I think if defensive-wise we can get a good rush and contain him and keep him in the pocket I think we can have a chance.”
Georgia linebacker Justin Houston is one of 16 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.
Houston leads the SEC with nine sacks, and is second in tackles-for-loss.
Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who is first in TFL and second in sacks, is also a semifinalist. The SEC had two more nominees, both from LSU: cornerback Patrick Peterson and defensive end Chase Nevis.
Houston is also a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, bestowed to the nation’s top linebacker.
Keeping up with the Jones family
Georgia center Ben Jones, who is from Centreville, Ala., said he has about 10 family members coming to the game. Jones grew up a Georgia fan, because his father graduated from there, but his family was different.
“It was split. Some of them were Alabama, some were Auburn,” he said.