With the numbers being amassed by Auburns do everything quarterback Cam Newton, I wondered how many athletic and versatile quarterbacks have played in the SEC. After some discussion in the old sportsnewsroom, there have been several, although Newton could very well be the best of them...
Of course, the most recent Cam Newton-style star was Tim Tebow, Floridas Heisman winning quarterback who brought the full back to quarter back and re-introduced the jump pass while leading the Gators to a national title.
It was just a few years ago that Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley was the 2005 SEC Championship game MVP and that season threw for 26 hundred yards and 24 TDs and rushed for another 322 and four more scores
All Tee Martin did at Tennessee was lead the 1998 Vols to a 130 record and a Fiesta Bowl triumph over Florida State, winning the school its first national title since 1951--something the legendary Peyton Manning failed to do when Martin was his backup.
In 2006, the SEC had two versatile qbs...Kentuckys Andre Woodson led the Wildcats to a 7-5 regular season and their first bowl win in 22 years in the Music city Bowl. Not only did he lead his team, but also led the SEC in passing yards with 3,515, becoming only the second Kentucky quarterback to throw 30 or more touchdowns in a single season.
Although a bust in the NFL, Jamarcus Russell led LSU to a 102 record and a BCS Sugar Bowl berth in 2006. He threw for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was second in the SEC behind Kentuckys Woodson. Russell also won the SEC Offensive Player of the Week award three times during '06.
And of course, lets not forget the man who started the athletic quarterback trend...Alabamas Harry Gilmer. Gilmer's best year was his sophomore season, 1945 when he led the nation in touchdown passes--13--and he ran for nine touchdowns. He had 79 rushing attempts with an average gain of 7.0 yards and completed 65 percent of his passes. In 1946, Gilmers junior year, he returned 37 punts and his average, 14.5 yards, led the nation. During that season, Gilmer led Alabama to the Rose Bowl, where they beat Southern Cal, 34-14.
So yes, Cam Newton is an exciting, all purpose, multi-talented quarterback for Auburn this year and may be the best of allbut dont forget about Tim, D.J., Tee, Andre, Jarmarcus and most of all Harry who, by the way was the first to throw the jump pass, 6 decades earlier that Tebow!