Aug 29, 2013
Cam Newton is greeted at one of his charitable functions in Charlotte (Copyright Kent Smith/Kent Smith Photography)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Cam Newton is doing what Cam Newton does... preparing for his NFL season with the Carolina Panthers, talking up Auburn and Gus Malzahn and finding time for charitable work.
Football-wise, he says he likes the feel of his Panthers. "Character guys," he says. And for Auburn, "I'm expecting great things" with Malzahn, the coach who helped Newton and the Tigers orchestrate the Tigers' 2010 national championship.
Newton's latest charitable venture from the Cam Newton Foundation is the Super Cam Club, an education outreach program. Fans can pledge donations for each of Newton's passing and rushing touchdowns this season. Donations can range from $5 or more to $250 or more for each touchdown. Those who participate will receive a variety of favors, from an autographed photo to an autographed football to an autographed jersey to an opportunity to meet Newton and receive jerseys at a season-ending function. It depends how much you pledge.
Newton says the donations, based on his touchdowns, "keeps everybody involved and excited about the upcoming season."
Newton is an old pro in charitable work, especially in North Carolina where his Panthers play, his hometown of Atlanta and in Auburn where he visited schools. He's been involved in a variety of community service and school projects, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the YMCA and donated to schools for learning programs.
He's been a visible volunteer, always posing with kids for one more photo.
"The cliché thing is athletes or people may have a particular event, and they're not even there to show their face," Newton said. "For me, I want to always be there because it's important. I'm not getting paid for it or being pushed. I'm the one doing the pushing to try to get the ball rolling for the activities for the community.
"We'll always be hand's-on outside of what football can bring."
All Newton did at Auburn was smash all kinds of offensive records and help lead the Tigers to the 2010 BCS national title. He did that while playing for an offensive coordinator named Gus Malzahn. Now, Malzahn is back as the head coach.
"When I was there, people said, 'In Gus We Trust.' He's an unbelievable coach," Newton said. "When I was with him we had a remarkable season. Everywhere he's been he's won. That's the thing people have to respect about Coach Malzahn."
Malzahn's newest adventure is moving toward Saturday's season-opener against Washington State in Jordan-Hare Stadium. That's where he'll start a junior college transfer at quarterback in Nick Marshall. You know, just like he started a junior college transfer in 2010 in Cam Newton.
Newton said he hasn't talked to Marshall about starting, but already has some advice.
"If he'll listen to Coach Malzahn, great things will happen to his career."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:Follow @AUGoldMine