Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats, Tucson ties in Super Bowl: Newton officially visited Arizona



He could have been a Wildcat — Cam Newton took an official visit of Arizona’s campus in 2009 before ultimately deciding on Auburn out of Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, in 2009 ( graphic) …

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Arizona was in the transition from Willie Tuitama to either Matt Scott or Nick Foles at quarterback when Brenham (Texas) Blinn College’s Cam Newton took an official visit of the campus in early September 2009.

Seth Littrell, in his first year as running backs/tight end coach, was assigned the task of recruiting that area of Texas, halfway between Austin and Houston on the Western part of the state.

It was the first of four official visits for Newton, who went on to lead Blinn to the 2009 junior college national championship, throwing for 2,833 yards with 22 touchdowns and running for 655 yards and 17 scores. A former Florida quarterback, he was named a JUCO All-America honorable mention and was the most recruited JUCO quarterback in the country.

Newton observed Arizona’s 19-6 season-opening win over Central Michigan, which by the way, had Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver standout Antonio Brown on its roster.

Operating offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes’ “Air Raid” offense of multiple-receiver sets, Scott passed for 208 yards, completing 19 of 30 pass attempts with an interception and no touchdowns. Scott also rushed for 83 yards on 19 carries.

Arizona coach Mike Stoops, Dykes and Littrell recruited Newton as a backup plan for 2010 in case Scott and Michigan State transfer Nick Foles could not grasp the offense. Scott was ultimately replaced in the third game of the 2009 season at Iowa by Foles, who became Arizona’s featured quarterback through 2011.


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Newton stayed in SEC country and signed with Auburn in 2010. He won the Heisman Trophy that year while leading the Tigers to the national title with a 14-0 record.

A year later, Stoops was fired as Arizona’s head coach midway through the season.

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Although Newton was never a serious recruiting possibility for Arizona, he did make an official visit and at one time considered the Wildcats. Call it a mild case of what could have been.


— Carolina offensive line coach John Matsko was the offensive line coach for the Wildcats in 1986 before following Larry Smith to USC in 1987. Matsko became USC’s offensive coordinator from 1989-91.

— Arizona football analyst Miguel Reveles served a fellowship with Carolina last summer, learning under Panthers coach Ron Rivera. Reveles completed his third season as a member of the Arizona football staff in 2015. He assists with the day-to-day duties of program management with a focus on special teams film breakdown.


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— Arizona players who played with the Panthers: KR Michael Bates (1996-2000, 2002); CB Antoine Cason (2014); and CB Michael Scurlock (1999).

— Arizona players who played with the Broncos: RB Mike Bell (2006-07); RB Chris Brewer (1984); CB Jermaine Chatman (2004); OG Jack Davis (1960); OT Mike Freeman (1984, 1986-87); OT Marsharne Graves (1984); DT Brad Henke (1989); LB Ricky Hunley (1984-87); WR Vance Johnson (1985-93, 1995); LB/FB Spencer Larsen (2008-11); CB Randy Robbins (1984-92); CB Martin Rudolph (1987); and DE Joe Young (1960-61).

(Arizona Media Relations Graphic)

(Arizona Media Relations Graphic) publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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