Jan. 23, 2012
AUBURN -- Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, a rookie with the Carolina Panthers, and Ben Grubbs, a guard with the Baltimore Ravens, were named to the Pro Bowl roster Monday.
Newton, who was named the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and helped Auburn to the BCS National Championship, will replace New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning on the NFC's roster. Grubbs, who played at Auburn from 2003-06, was added to the AFC roster after New England guards Logan Mankins and Brian Waters - the original starters - advanced to Super Bowl XLVI.
Newton, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, threw for 4,051 yards -- the most by a rookie in NFL history -- and 21 touchdowns. He added 706 rushing yards to become the first player in league history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for at least 500 yards in a single season. Newton also set an NFL for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season with 14.
Newton is the third former Tiger to be named to the Pro Bowl, joining defensive tackle Jay Ratliff of the Dallas Cowboys and cornerback Carlos Rogers of the San Francisco 49ers.
Newton was the first alternate among NFC quarterback after Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. The Giants overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game made Manning unavailable for next Sunday's Pro Bowl and opened a spot for Newton.
Grubbs, who was originally the first alternate, and fellow Ravens guard Marshal Yanda, who was earlier named to his first Pro Bowl for the 2011 campaign, will serve as starters on the conference's offensive line.
Grubbs earns the first Pro Bowl nod of his five-year NFL career, serving as a stabilizing force on the Ravens' offensive line. With his help, running back Ray Rice led the league with 2,068 yards from scrimmage and was second in rushing (1,364). Rice also finished with a Ravens' franchise-record 15 total touchdowns, including 12 rushing.
The 2012 Pro Bowl will be on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The game start at 6 p.m. CT and be televised by NBC.