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Gus Malzahn: Former Auburn QB Cam Newton has chance to be 'best ever'

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn alum Cam Newton plays to the fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 before the Iron Bowl.
Auburn alum Cam Newton plays to the fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 before the Iron Bowl. Michael Niziolek | mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn reminisced about his time coaching Cam Newton Tuesday night on ESPN’s 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter as his former quarterback prepares for Super Bowl 50.

Malzahn was the Tigers’ offensive coordinator as Newton led the program to a National Title. Newton won the Heisman Trophy running Malzahn’s offense with more than 4,300 yards of total offense and 50 touchdowns.

“He looks like he’s playing at the same level he was in 2010 when we made the championship run,” Malzahn told anchor Scott Van Pelt.

Newton’s diving touchdown last week in the NFC Championship game reminded Malzahn of the moment six years ago when the then-assistant realized Auburn was going to have a special season.

“Week four against South Carolina he took off for about a 50 yard run and took off from about the 10-yard line and did the Superman in the end zone,” Malzahn said. “It was a wild moment.”

Newton’s four-touchdown performance in the 49-15 win over the Cardinals continued the quarterback’s career year. It was the sixth time this year he put up at least four touchdowns in a single game.

The talented Auburn alum finished the regular season with 4,473 total yards and 45 touchdowns. His 35 passing touchdowns beat out his previous career high set two years ago by double-digits.

Newton also had a career-best quarterback rating of 99.4 leading the Panthers to a near undefeated record.

“He has all the skills,” Malzahn said. “He can make all the throws, he can run, he’s a good decision maker. It was just a matter of time with experience.”

Malzahn is eager to see Newton compete on football’s biggest stage in Super Bowl 50 against the Denver. Auburn’s coach has long believed Newton has an opportunity to be one of the greatest that’s ever played.

“He’s got a chance and I said this when he first came out, he has the chance to be one of the best to ever play or best that ever played,” Malzahn said. “He’s got everything.”

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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