Heisman Statue Ceremony Remarks
April 14, 2012
Auburn Heisman Statue Ceremony - April 14, 2012
Auburn Director of Athletics, Jay Jacobs "War Eagle! Hey to the Auburn Family, welcome home. It's great to have you in Auburn. Please join Dr. (Jay) Gogue, Coach Gene Chizik and myself in welcoming our 1971 Heisman award winner, Mr. Pat Sullivan, 1985 Heisman award winner, Mr. Vincent `Bo' Jackson, 2010 Heisman award winner, Cameron `Cam' Newton.
"War Eagle! Today is a special day in Auburn, but you know, every day's a special day in Auburn. But today is extremely special because we get to celebrate three of the finest men to ever wear an Auburn uniform. Even though we're recognizing these three individuals, they would be the first to tell you that they could not have made the accomplishments they made athletically without their teammates and coaches. Congratulations gentlemen. Thank you.
"We would not be here today without Coach John Heisman, whose tremendous commitment and opportunity presented to college football and for naming the most distinguished football award for him, and also being a coach here at Auburn years ago, and a very important coach. Also because Coach Heisman coached here and other places, this is the only university, Auburn is the only place, where Coach Heisman coached and we have someone named for his award. Matter of fact, we got three of them. So it's only fitting that we honor Coach Heisman by dedication of the bust of Coach John Heisman.
"We have with us our sculptor Ken Bjorge and his wife. Ken, would you please stand and let us recognize you? Thank you for being here, Ken. Thank you all for being here.
"Here's how the events are going to go. After we hear from remarks of all on the stage here, Dr. Gogue, Coach Chizik, Pat, Bo and Cam, then all of us will go down and be with Pat as he unveils his statue, then we'll go over and be with Bo as he unveils his, all of us on the stage, and then we'll go be with Cam as he unveils his. Then we'll come back to the stage for some closing remarks. So at this time, please join me in welcoming our president, Dr. Jay Gogue."
Auburn President, Dr. Jay Gogue "Thank you Jay. This is a great day in the life of Auburn University, and I just want to welcome all of you here today. The great writer and former athletic director, David Housel, described this event today as one in which we honor the past, we define the present, and we inspire the future. If you think about these young men who are here on the stage today, certainly they've brought great honor to their teammates. They brought honor to Auburn University, their families, and we're just so proud of each one of them for what they've done in the past. But when we think about the present, think about how they inspire. Think about how they live their lives. Think about the role models that they all play for our people. When we think about the future, think about the young kids that come to this campus and see those beautiful statues and realize what could be. Thank you all, and War Eagle."
Jacobs "Ladies and gentlemen, our head football coach, Gene Chizik."
Auburn head coach Gene Chizik "War Eagle! You know, there's a reason why we all believe that you are the number one fan base in the country. Look at this turnout today. Is this unbelievable? Obviously, we have a great reason to celebrate today, and I'm just blessed to be the head coach here at Auburn. On a daily basis, we set out to try to recruit not just great student-athletes, but great individuals. I'm just blessed to be able to stand up here today at an event, at a ceremony that celebrates not just great football players, but three great men. I've had a chance to be around obviously Cam more than Bo and Pat, but they're all the same. They're all the same. They're great, great individuals who had a huge, huge impact at Auburn University. As the head coach, I couldn't be more honored to be a part of this relationship with not just them, with their families. I'm just blessed. I want this to be a great day, not just for Pat, Bo and Cam and their families. I want this to be a great day for the Auburn Family, because you know what? Without you and these turnouts and how you are on game day and what you make the game day experience, it's as good as it gets. As the head coach at Auburn, I want to say thank you for coming. I want to say thank you to these three gentlemen who have made Auburn special, and we want to say thank you to you who have made Auburn extremely special. I want today to be a great day for everybody. It's a beautiful day today, and War Eagle. God Bless."
Jacobs "Ladies and gentlemen, 1971 Heisman award winner, Mr. Pat Sullivan."
1971 Heisman Trophy winner, Pat Sullivan "Thank you, Jay. Congratulations Bo and Cam. I apologize for my voice first. You know, I can't start this without thinking about two people who are not here, who I know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. That's Coach (Ralph `Shug') Jordan and my dad. I know they're looking down, and I know they're proud.
"Back a long time ago, it was a little different then. I see Buddy (Davidson) sitting back there, and gosh the job, Buddy, you did, and Kenny (Howard) and Hub (Herb Waldrop) and all of you guys. I know every time I won an award or whatever, I know that I didn't win it by myself. I was just representing my teammates and my coaches, and I was a part of it. I know Bo and Cam probably feel the same way.
"A couple of things that were fond to me back then, and I still cherish them today. The announcement was different. Many of you will probably remember it was at halftime of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game on Thanksgiving night. A special memory that I have amongst many was all the people going to the Coliseum after the announcement to see it on TV and to share it with my teammates and coaches with the Auburn family and president, of course with Jean, and my mom and dad. I remember going to New York for the first time and being up there. The presentation then, again it was in the downtown athletic club. I remember Mr. John Ott who was president, he awarded the presentation. I will never forget his words. When he presented the award, he said, `Pat, this award, you may not understand it right now, but it will mark you for the rest of your life. From this day forward, you won't be known as Pat Sullivan. You'll be known as former Heisman Trophy winner, Pat Sullivan. You have a responsibility first to your others who have gone before you to uphold this trophy and what it stands for and the integrity.' Hopefully, I've done that.
"Over the last 25 plus years, I've recruited athletes like this. We all have our sales pitch. When I go out recruiting, I believe that every young man is going to make three choices in his life that are going to affect him more than anything he does. First one is his faith. Sometimes the good Lord will become the most important thing to you. The second one is why we're here. It's where you choose to go to college or start a career. The third one is who you choose to marry and raise a family with. What makes the second one so important, it's not these statues, it's not the awards. Sure, they're a part of it in what we've worked for. But what you get out of athletics when it's all said and done, it's the relationships that last for a lifetime, and I have been able to share with all of you and with all of my teammates, a wonderful, wonderful relationship.
"I talked about these three choices. Nine years ago, I believed it, but then I really lived it. Dr. (William) Carroll back there diagnosed me with cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma. I didn't know what that was. I said, `Well what does that mean? What kind of chance?' He said, `Well there's about a 40 percent chance. With your health, it's probably a little greater.' That's when all these three choices came into play. The first thing you do is you got on your knees and make sure you're right with the man. The second thing is the support from my teammates and all the people from the relationships that you've made.
"Ray Perkins from Alabama called every day to check on me to make sure I was doing all right. My wife, my best friend, my partner, my family taking care of me. I know I wouldn't be here today without all of those things. To be able to share this with all of you is something that I'll never forget.
"I want to close with, when I went to New York, I didn't know what I was going to say, and I spoke from the bottom of my heart. About 2:00 this morning, I told Dr. Gogue, I woke up, and I wrote these notes. I'd like to close with the same way I closed in New York, 40 something years ago. There may be other people who deserve this honor more than me, but from the bottom of my heart, I can tell you no one appreciates it more than myself. Thank you."
Jacobs: "1985 Heisman award winner, Vincent `Bo' Jackson."
1985 Heisman Trophy winner, Vincent `Bo' Jackson "Good afternoon. Can you hear me? Turn up the volume, man. First of all, as the great Pat Sullivan said, War Eagle. That's all you have to say when you run across someone from Auburn is just `War Eagle.' You know what it means. It means hello, how are you, I love you, I respect you, see you next Saturday.
"I don't write speeches. I learned something from a great man that I met over 30 years ago, and he said, `Speak from your heart.' That's what I do. That great man was Pat Dye. I made this comment last night at the dinner at the president's house. When I came here in 1982, I was a young immature kid. Four years later, I left here a 21, 22-year-old respectable young man. I didn't do that on my own. I had a lot of people guiding me, pushing me, making sure that I did the right thing.
"One of my best friends that I have for the rest of my life is not here this afternoon. My roommate, the guy that blocked for me, Tommy Agee. On a sad note, Tommy lost his mother a couple of days ago. If I weren't here right now, I'd be with my roommate. As we say when we see each other, he always says and I always say that I gave that guy the four best years of my life. We always say that.
"Some people that I would like to thank, because as Pat said, we didn't get to where we are by ourselves. I had 20, 30 other guys out there putting their lives on the line for me every Saturday, every practice, making sure that each other went to class. Because our leader taught us, he said, `Hey. You can be the world's best athlete on Saturday, but if you don't get your butt up and go to class on Monday through Friday, that don't mean jack.' I try to instill that in my kids. All the stuff that I learned when I was here, I use it with my kids. As Pat said, this is the place where I met my wife. She is my best friend. She is the person that I turn to when I don't have the answers.
"I have people in my life that probably don't know this, but I respect you, I care about you, like you'll never know. A few of those people are out in the audience right now. Rusty and Sally Dean, dorm counselors. On Saturday evenings, after the football games when everybody else is partying, there were about four or five people in Sewell Hall, and I was one of those four or five people. I could perform in front of a crowd, but getting out, that just wasn't my cup of tea. If I wasn't in my room Saturday night 10:30, 11:00, I'd be up at Russ and Sally's place having Sally's famous dip and chip and playing with their two dogs, Woody and J.W.
"I got people in my life. Coach Waldrop and his wife Jean. I could sit here and talk about them all day. One of my favorite moments on Thursday mornings, I knew Coach Waldrop would go to Hardees and have the steak and biscuits with mustard. I don't know where he'd get this mustard thing from, but that's what he'd do. People like Mrs. Graves. People like Sue Locklar. All these people mean the world to me. I don't get a chance to see them that often or to thank them. Today is a perfect time to do that. I know that we're here to unveil statues and so forth and so on, but those statues wouldn't be here if all of us didn't have people like that in our lives our four years here.
"I wish that my mother was here to see this, because she was probably my biggest fan on the planet. I'll never forget, people always asked me, they say, `Bo what is your most memorable moment at Auburn?' It's hands down, it's my freshman year after the Alabama-Auburn game. It wasn't the fact that we won the game, it was the fact that after we went to the locker room, Coach Dye said, `I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go out here and spend time with our fans.' We went back out on the field and the first person that I looked for was my mother. I'm the eighth of 10 kids. My mother raised all 10 of us in about a 650 square foot home. The only time I got to see her was on Sunday because she worked the other six days, two jobs. When we went back out on the field, I looked for my mother. It took me about five or six minutes. When I finally found her, the fans in the stands helped her get down to the field. Hugging my mother after that game and listening to the fans thank her for allowing me to come to Auburn was probably the most memorable moment in my four years at Auburn.
"I lost my mother in '92. I know she's in Heaven, and she's looking down on us. She was my favorite woman in my life. Well now I have two favorite women in my life, my wife and my daughter who constantly keep me on the road doing things to make sure that they can go to the mall. I know a lot of you fellows out there know what I'm talking about. You have to keep the women happy.
"In closing, I know we have a long day. I'm going to close by saying this. We're all family here, and when you put on that sweatshirt or that t-shirt, that says `Family, All In,' wear it with pride, because that's what we are here. We're all in. Other people say, `Hey, we love our sports. We love this and that,' but here at Auburn, we love Auburn. War Eagle. Thank you."
Jacobs "2010 Heisman award winner, Cam Newton."
2010 Heisman Trophy winner, Cameron `Cam' Newton "Let me start by saying, Bo, no offense, I know you're a veteran and this is what you do, but I have to write speeches. I'm just not good yet.
"War Eagle! I think there's somebody back there in that corner. I didn't see their lips move. So I'm going to say this one more time, War Eagle! Now that just hit me like a blind side from the left side, but I didn't feel it come from my right side like I wanted to. So all the way up there at the top, I got to hear you this time, War Eagle!
"I want to start by saying thank you President Gogue, Mr. Jacobs, Coach Chizik, distinguished guests and most importantly, you, the Auburn Family. It's an incredible honor to be on this stage with Mr. Pat Sullivan, Mr. Bo Jackson. I've had the opportunity to spend time with each during my time at Auburn and since winning the Heisman trophy, and both are not only great football players, but tremendous individuals and are great examples of what it means to be an Auburn man. I congratulate each of them for their accomplishments. It is humbling to share this day with each of you.
"It is always great to be home at Auburn. It seems just like yesterday that I stood inside Jordan-Hare Stadium with each of you celebrating Auburn's first national championship in over 50 years. I never would have imagined that I would have been standing here a year later for another celebration with my family, the Auburn Family. I cannot fully express in words my gratitude to Auburn University and the Auburn Athletic Department for bestowing this honor upon me. While there may be a statue bearing my likeness with my name on the base, in my eyes, it's not a statue of Cam Newton, instead it is a statue of the 2010 BCS National Champions. It was a collective effort of an entire team. A team. My Heisman trophy certainly would not have been possible without my teammates, coaches and support personnel. I'd like to take this time to thank each of them for what they have meant to me. Thank you.
"Playing for Auburn was one of the greatest honors and experiences of my life, and I will forever be an Auburn Tiger. The friendships and the memories that I made here at Auburn will last a lifetime, and I'm extremely grateful to everyone associated with the Auburn Family.
"In closing, I have a poem that I prepared myself. Myself, I take great pride in this. Bo, I prepared it myself. I want you to be the critic to critique my poem. You ready?
"365 days, that was my team. But for some strange reason, it felt like I've always been here. All the blood, sweat and tears it took to get this, I'll always honor and cherish this. My road to the top had a couple pit stops, but during my time at Auburn, The love of the Auburn family would not let my morale drop. Greatness was what I strived for, and greatness was what I got. The mentality of an Auburn man took me to the top. Some people will never understand the feeling of what it means to be an Auburn man, But I'm lucky enough to be able to raise my right hand and be able to say, `I can!' My time at Auburn, I don't know if it could have been any better. Man, was it great. (Listen to this, Bo). We won an SEC Title, a National Championship, and oh yeah, we beat that team, 27 to 28. As a wise man once said, this place, as in Auburn, was great way before you were thought of (Coach Chizik) And this place is where I will always love. So as I share this day with two of Auburn's beloved, I want to end by saying War Eagle, and I believe in Auburn and love it.
"Thank you so much."
Jacobs "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. As you can tell by the way we've laid out these Heismans, we've left room to grow. As David Housel penned in the program some of you have, this isn't the end. The foundation that these three guys have laid is just the beginning. We look forward to more Heisman award winners here at Auburn and more National Championships. Certainly, we have the best fans in the nation. Thank you all for being here. God Bless, have a great day."
Auburn Heisman Winners Press Conference - April 14, 2012
Opening statements: Bo Jackson "Today's been a wonderful day not only for myself, but my family, all my friends and for these two guys also. It is a great thing to have a statue erected of you in honor of what we've done. We say earlier that it couldn't have happened without the help of our teammates. It couldn't have happened without the strength and guidance of our coaches. Today is a day for everybody in the Auburn family to enjoy this afternoon, being at the unveiling of the statues, down to the last minute of the A-Day game. This will be my first A-Day game in a long time, over 20 something years. I'm looking forward to it, brings back old memories. Wouldn't want to get out there and play though. Today's wonderful. Looking forward to it. Thank you."
Pat Sullivan "Pardon my voice, number one. I strained it. Bo kind of touched on all the highlights that I'm sure all of us are feeling today. I know there's some that I feel that I mentioned a couple of times earlier. Two people that are not here that meant an awful lot to me that I'm sure I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. One is my dad and the other one is Coach (Ralph `Shug') Jordan. I've always said, and these two young gentlemen have said, we wouldn't have done it or been part of this without our teammates or coaches or the support that the Auburn people have given.
"Back when I won it, it was a little bit different. When I say that, the whole state I think took such pride in it, as well as the university, as well as the conference. It was something that was really appreciated, and I just appreciate everything that was said. As I mentioned when I won the ward, Philip (Marshall)'s dad I think was up there, that I'm sure there was more people that probably deserved it more than me, but from the bottom of my heart, none would appreciate it any more. The same goes for the statue. There may be others that deserved it more, but from the bottom of my heart, none will appreciate it any more. Not only was I able to share it with my teammates and a few of my coaches, now my family and my kids and my grandkids were there, and that made it special. Thank you."
Cam Newton "I'm going to be very brief, but I think everything that was said has been said, and I just want to piggyback off of that. I'm just so flattered to be in the presence of greatness with Pat and Mr. Bo. Those names around here ring bells, and that's an understatement. Just for me to have this opportunity to be sitting next to these guys on a celebration today, is unbelievable. As I said once before, I'm very appreciative of the statues and what we as my team in 2010 the Auburn Tigers have accomplished. This is something that I feel like it hits me right now, and it's going to have even more impact when I no longer can play football anymore. I'm very appreciative of the support that I've been given from so many different people in Alabama. I call Auburn home because I will always have a warmth in my heart to be able to give back to Auburn."
On if Newton thought two years ago any of this would be happening two years later... "God works in mysterious ways. Here I was, two years ago there was a lot of anticipation that was going into this game. It's in the creed, you see what hard work gets you. Just listened to the coaching and believed in what they were coaching. I had a lot of faith in my talents and the guys I was playing next to. To be quite frank about it, as they have already said, none of this would have been possible without a major key support cast via coaching, via players, teammates or family members. They play an intricate role in our success." On if the three ever discuss who was the best among them? Bo Jackson: "To be honest with you, the best athlete to ever come out of Auburn University is Charles Barkley." Pat Sullivan: "I can answer that. As far as athleticism is concerned, I wasn't in these two guys' class. Some feats I've seen Bo do, not only football-wise, but baseball. I'll tell you one story, and this is my favorite Bo Jackson story. l was doing radio when Bo was a sophomore. We were down in Gainesville, Fla., when we were playing Florida. It was on Friday, and we were on the minus-40 yard line standing there talking to Coach Dye and helping out the players. Everybody was in sweats throwing the ball trying to see how far they could throw it. Bo walks up and hadn't gotten loose or anything, Pat Washington or somebody said, `Let's see how far you can throw it.' `Nah, man I ain't messing with you. Go on.' Finally they egged him on. Bo hadn't warmed up or was a quarterback. Bo took one step from the minus-40, threw it through the uprights about 10 rows up in the upper deck in the end zone. That's the dangdest feat I've ever seen." Cam Newton: "My story won't be that long. It's as simple as simple could be. You just go on the side of the stadium, and whoever's picture is bigger, that's who is supposed to be the best." Sullivan: "Hey Cam, as soon as somebody else wins it, his is going with us." Newton: "Yeah don't be surprised if you see me with some scissors."
On winning the Heisman and the meaning beyond just winning the award... Cam Newton: "It just gives me goose bumps. Just saying it is one thing. I keep my trophy in Atlanta along with the other trophies, and it's kind of like a shrine. It isn't, but you when walk into whatever room that trophy's in, it just stands out. One, it is the Heisman Trophy, but two, it's just like `Man.' What I did in past tense, what I did is something that everyone can't say they've had the opportunity to have. Everybody can say they were good at something they can `Rah rah,' but the proof is in the pudding when you have a trophy of that magnitude. I took my assistant to Atlanta, and honestly, it was like `Man, I really won that award.' Every time I see the Aflac commercial with the Heisman, it's unbelievable because I ask myself, `I really won that award?' I know I keep going back and forth, but it's an unbelievable feeling to set your eyes not only just the trophy in itself, but to see your name and your university that you represent on that panel." Pat Sullivan: "I think, and this is having carried the banner for a while, I remember John Ott making the remark, and I said it earlier, that it would mark you for the rest of your life. He said you have a certain responsibility to ones that have gone before you and the ones that will come after you to live your life in accordance with the integrity of it. I didn't really understand what that was at that time, but I think as things have gone on, you are marked. From that day forward, wherever I went, I was always known as a former Heisman Trophy winner, the same way these two young men are. The same was as Steve Spurrier or Steve Owens or whoever. Mark Ingram. I think there are so many negative things that are being put out that we see, and I think it is so important, as visible as this award is, for somebody to represent it in the class manner that it should be. It is not me. It's not Bo, as he said. It's not Cam, as he said. It is more. It is your teammates. It's your family. It's your university. Back when I won it, it was the whole state, the conference. Everyone took pride in it. It wasn't trying to outdo the other one. It was something that was taken pride in, and hopefully that's the way it will continue be, and the Heisman won't let it be commercialized." Bo Jackson: "It's a unique club. How many winners? There's only been 76 of these trophies handed out over the years, and we have three of them. It's almost like `Wow.' It's almost like finding a rare coin that doesn't exist anymore, and you come across three. We have three right here in Auburn. Of course, they have our names on them like they said, but everybody at the time we won the trophy, everybody had a small part in us receiving those awards. Every offensive player in the country has said, `Wow. I would love to win the Heisman Trophy one day. I would love to win one.' At the end of the year, one person does. When you do that, I can speak for all three of us, it's so surreal to sit there and listen to the announcer say, `And the 19 so and so winner of the whatever number of years Heisman Trophy, from.' After he says `from' everybody holds their breaths. It's the longest 1.5 seconds of our lives. `From Auburn University,' and then it's like, "Whew. Let's go home and go to bed now.' I have never celebrated on Toomer's Corner. I don't even know how to start to throw a roll of toilet paper. We were always either here getting dressed, showered, talking to you guys or back at the dorm. Even on the night that we won our Heismans, the fans were rolling Toomer's Corner. It's a family thing. It's a tradition that I hope will be with this university for a long, long time. I hope we can have a whole lot more young gentlemen sitting up here like we are that have worked their butts off with their teammates to get here because I can tell you what. It's a long road, but once you get here, once you get to the top of this mountain, you know that you and your teammates and your coaches have accomplished something big. Thank you." Sullivan: "One more comment that I think is important. I mentioned being a role model. I think these two guys that I'm sitting up here with, all you have to do is look at what Bo's doing this coming week for Alabama. The way that he and Linda have raised their family, as I've gotten what little to know Cam and his family and all the good things that he's done going to the schools and helping kids being role models. That gives me an awful lot of pride, and that says it all."
On the Bo Bikes Bama fundraiser... Bo Jackson: "I came up with this idea the end of last summer. I talked to my wife about it, she thought I'd lost my mind like she does when I tell her about any hair-brained scheme that I'm coming up with. She softened up and gave me the green light. The first thing that I did was I contacted people and companies that I do business with first. I contacted Nike. Nike got on board with it. I called a good buddy of mine, I called Lance Armstrong out of Austin, Texas, since he probably knows more about bicycles. Like we know the Heisman, he knows bicycles and riding, so I called him. He and his company, CSE, which is Capital Sports Entertainment, came on board. They introduced me to the company that builds his race bikes, Trek Bicycle. I went to Waterloo, Wisc., and sat down and talked with the owner. The owner jumped in with both feet and said, `We will supply you bicycles and everything that you need. We'll help out with the logistics,' and so forth and so on. From there, last fall, I don't know if it was the South Carolina or the Georgia game, afterwards, I went to Montgomery and met with the governor. I talked to the governor about what I wanted to do, and the governor jumped on board 100 percent. `Anything that I can do, Bo, to help you with this, just let me know, and we will make it happen.' I am an Alabamian. I live in Illinois, but this iis home for me. I've always said that I am my brother's and my sister's keeper, and I mean that. A year ago, April 27 was a devastating day for the state. We lost almost 300 people in a devastating storm. It just happened. You can't control nature. You can't bottle nature. I figured that a good way to honor those Alabamians that lost their lives, and at the same time raise money for the awareness of tornadoes, a good thing to do was to get on my bike and ride across the state to raise money. That's where the `Bo Bikes Bama' came from. We have a lot of companies that have come on board. I have a lot of friends that are going to come and ride with me on any given day. To name a few, let me see where I can start. Ex-downhill skier Picabo Street is going to ride with us. We have former Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George. I have Ken Griffey Jr. who's going to be in the Hall of Fame someday in baseball is going to ride with me. I have Ray Lewis coming in to ride with me. Lance Armstrong is going to come in and ride one day with me. There's a host of people. Olympic and World Record holder triple jumper, Al Joyner's going to fly in from California to ride with me.
They say a man can judge his wealth by the acceptance that the gets from his peers. I consider myself a very, very wealthy man at this point because every friend and associate that I've called to ask to come and join me on this ride, they have made plans to.
The ride will start on the 24th of April in Henninger, Ala., and will go through towns like Guntersville, Jasper, Cullman, Bessemer, and end in Tuscaloosa, of all places. The reason that we're ending there because that's what the country saw as where most of the damage and most loss of life was in that area. Once we get about three and a half miles from our destination, we're going to open the ride up to the public so anybody with a bicycle that knows how to ride a bicycle, we ask to come out and join.
In closing, I have personally asked everybody that's interested to go to the website and look at what we're doing. Find it in your heart to donate $1 to this cause. That's all because I know that most of everybody is going through a hard economic time right now. If you can find it in your heart to donate $1 to the cause, I know the families that these monies are going to help out with the rebuilding of their lives very much appreciate it. Thank you."
On how much the Heisman is brought up around Newton in the NFL... "In the locker room, wherever you go, it's all about representation. The more people you have from your school, the better. Last year, you just go back to games that everybody remembers, and that's all they talk about. Just as much of an impact as Auburn has had on me, every Saturday I was at the team hotel glued to the tube trying to find out what in the world we were doing so that I could have bragging rights. The Heisman is mentioned, but it's not mentioned as much as overall team success is. It was a good thing that we won the National Championship my year so I could gloat a little bit."
On how Newton would assess himself as a quarterback after his rookie season... "There's a lot that I feel like I can get better at. With reviewing all the games from last year, I feel that the improvement is through the roof for me. Having the whole offseason to work on the things that I feel like I need to get better at will come to fruition. With the upcoming OTAs, I feel like that's another time I can get better."
On his evolution and having the time to do more speaking engagements, work with his foundation, etc... and also on having Steve Smith back with the Panthers next season... "Let Smitty talk. He is a statue. Having him back is a big thing for not only for me as my whole evolution is going to change to have his leadership there, but for the whole team. We need Smitty, not for what he does at the receiver position, but for the leader that he is. How much he holds everybody accountable and also that person that he looks into the mirror at himself. I'm excited for him. As far as my foundation is concerned, my whole focus is to make a better opportunity for a child. I understand that every kid in America is not faced with what another kid is faced with. Some have it better. Some don't. For the kids that do not, I'm trying to fill that void."
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