The Carolina Panthers football team has taken everyone by storm this 2015-2016 football season. With the team currently undefeated, many credit this success to their quarterback Cam Newton. The 26-year-old Atlanta native is the only player in the modern era to, within a one-year span, be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft.
In his rookie year, Newton broke numerous rookie and all-time NFL records for passing and rushing yards. He became the first rookie quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning’s first-game record by 120 yards. He also broke Otto Graham’s 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut.
Newton would go on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season, as well as the first rookie quarterback to rush for 700 yards. He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan’s 35-year-old record.
But Cam’s stats weren’t always this good. There was one incident that almost ended his dreams of playing football ever again.
“When I went to the University of Florida, I wasn’t on my best behavior. I didn’t talk to my father much. I would literally put entertainment before my family.”
“I was so disconnected from the reality of what my purpose was. I did things that I didn’t think about doing. I just did it. Truth of matter is, I got locked up.”
During his first year at the University of Florida, Cam got arrested and was facing a felony.
“I was in jail for two days, but it felt like I was in there for four years.
Everything that I valued in life, got taken away.”
In 2009, Cam left the University of Florida and was then court-ordered to do 180 hours of community service at his old high school.
Instead of seeing Cam on television hurling footballs through the air, he was reduced to taking out the trash, cleaning chalk boards and filing papers.
“To lose what I loved, I lost my whole identity.”
It was at that point, at Cam’s lowest point in life that the wise words came back to memory. “A wise man once told me, ‘Be humble or be humbled.’ I was humbled.”
“If you look at my life, it’s obvious that there’s things that I’ve done, that I regret and it was like, ‘How stupid can you be?’. But it was like, God hit the reset button. I had to learn from this and will get better from it.”
When Cam had to make the humbling transition from a Division 1 University in Florida to a junior college, it was his dad that kept him going.
“It was my dad that kept firing my cylinders and made me think that instead of this being a devastating ending to a story, this this going to be my testimony to show to the entire world.”
For the first couple of months at junior college in Tennessee, Cam admits that he was alone with no family members around and fighting serious depression…