I just finished watching Morgan Newton on ESPN, and I came away extremely impressed by the kid. Here are some bullet points.
*The knock on mobile quarterbacks is that they sometimes get impatient when the pass protection begins to break down, resulting in scrambles for minimal gains. I didn’t see that out of Newton today. I don’t follow Indiana high school football, so I have no idea how good Cathedral was supposed to be, but they had a hard time stopping Newton when it mattered. More often than not, Newton was able to make the throws under pressure, though he did defer a lot to his backfield.
*Having said all that, as complimentary as I am of his pocket presence, I am just as complimentary of his mobility. Tom Luginbill said on commentary that he was a lot like a mobile Andre Woodson. I don’t think Morgan throws as pretty a ball as Andre, so I’ll try another comparison. How about “Shane Boyd if he had any passing ability?” Shane was a super athlete, but he always aimed passes at his receivers’ feet. Newton doesn’t appear to have blazing speed like Nebraska’s old option QBs, but he clearly has some speed, and his elusiveness is also very good. He broke several tackles on a couple of runs. Again, I don’t know about the defensive prowess of Cathedral, but they wore the same uniforms as Notre Dame and were the Fighting Irish, so that doesn’t reflect well on them. Still, in regards to his mobility, his powerful style of running reminded me a little of *gasp* Tim Tebow. And yes, I just compared a black athlete to a white athlete. That’s groundbreaking writing, folks.
*I was also impressed with the interviews he and his father did. They reminded me a lot of watching Patrick Patterson and his family. Dr. Newton wants to involve himself in his son’s career in the same way that Buster Patterson does, which is a good way (i.e. not like Alex Legion’s mother). Both of them are all class, especially Dr. Newton, whose entire interview was basically one giant recruiting pitch for Kentucky. Morgan Newton showed a lot of poise and brought up a good point – Cathedral actually led at the half, and Carmel wasn’t used to being behind in games at all. Newton calmly directed the Carmel offense on the last two scoring drives, making it look easy. Newton made it sound like it was the first “adversity” that Carmel had faced in a while, and he handled it with the poise of a veteran.
*My favorite thing about the entire game was all the publicity that Kentucky got. I don’t remember if ESPN covered a high school game in Leslie County or Harrodsburg when Kentucky signed its last HUGE signees, Tim Couch and Dennis Johnson. The announcers were just gushing about the Kentucky coaches today and about the success that Rich Brooks and Joker Phillips have brought to the program over the last three years. It was like watching a three-hour promotional video for UK football.
Nothing bad can come of this.
I’m Seth Stogsdill, hoping the momentum train still has a lot of life left in it.