When you think of great college football quarterbacks, former Auburn Tigers star Cam Newton has to make the list. If his Heisman Trophy and BCS National Championship weren't enough proof, he's taken his game to the next level and won an NFL MVP award with the Carolina Panthers. His younger brother, former Howard Bison quarterback Caylin Newton, is pretty good, too, but he's ready for a change of scenery.
It was a rough start for Howard to begin the 2019 campaign. The Bison got smacked 79-0 by Maryland in the season opener and stumbled a 1-5 overall record with additional losses to Youngstown State, Hampton, and Bethune-Cookman. The only victory in that stretch was against Delaware State.
That victory, however, would be the last football game for Newton at Howard. The star dual-threat quarterback, who earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman and MEAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2018, officially announced he would enter the NCAA Transfer Portal.
QB Caylin Newton Enters NCAA Transfer Portal
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Newton, who had 26 total touchdowns in 2018, will have two years of eligibility remaining, and there was always a chance he would move up from the FCS level to the FBS. He graduated in May and penned a very heartfelt message thanking the entire Howard community.
"Making the decision to attend Howard University has been the best decision I've made and has caused me to not only grow as an athlete but as a man. So I want to first take the opportunity to thank my fellow Bison for allowing me to be a part of not only a growing community of intellectuals but also a dedicated football program.
"Throughout my years at Howard, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most powerful and influential people in this country while playing alongside brothers I'll have for life.
"To my teammates, thank you for having my back through it all.
"However, after speaking with my family and some of the greats who have played at this prestigious university, they have all contributed to giving me clarity and guidance to make the decision I think is best for my future.
"I will finish what I started academically by graduating this may, as of my athletic career, I have officially declared to be put into the NCAA Transfer Portal with two years left of eligibility.
"Thank you Kery Davis and Dr. Wayne Frederich for your unwavering support and for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to be your quarterback.
"'I persevere and thrive on adversity... If snowed down, I will get up every time..' -- Navy Seals Creed
"Thank you HU for your support through my athletic transition. I will always be a Howard Bison. #BISONPRIDE"
-- Howard Quarterback Caylin Newton
Cam Newton's brother isn't the only one to leave the football program. In fact, three other teammates are doing the same. Add in the accusations of verbal abuse and intimidation by head coach Ron Prince, and it's pretty easy to see the writing on the wall.
From the time he made his debut against UNLV in 2017, Caylin Newton has shown flashes of brilliance, including posting over 3,000 yards of total offense as a sophomore. He's going to make an impact on his next team, but it's pretty clear it was time to leave Howard University.
This article was originally published October 3, 2019.
UPDATE (May 23, 2020): Despite the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak, Caylin's journey through the NCAA Transfer Portal brought him to a familiar place and decision for the Newton name.
Newton announced on Twitter that he'd be joining head coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers for the 2020 college football season, the same program where his older brother became the best player in the country. The graduate transfer is immediately eligible to play and was originally expected to compete with incumbent starter Bo Nix, who was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019, before switching positions.
Brother of Cam Newton Joins Auburn Tigers
— Caylin Newton (@NewtonCaylin) July 12, 2020
Needless to say, Caylin Newton in an Auburn Tigers uniform looks so natural, while his brother gets ready for his new chapter with the New England Patriots.
Caylin Newton Making Waves at Wide Receiver
Auburn WR Seth Williams on WR Caylin Newton: "I wouldn't believe he played at quarterback, because he's so physical there... He's had such a smooth transition at receiver."
— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) September 9, 2020
Changing positions in the middle of a college football level can be difficult, but not for Caylin Newton. The graduate transfer has switched from quarterback to become Auburn's newest wide receiver, and it's paid off so far.
"He looks very natural as a receiver," Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz said. "I thought he was a receiver beforehand, you would think, just based on how he's been practicing so far."
"I've just been so impressed with his attitude, his physicality, and really, probably more than anything, his want-to," coach Gus Malzahn added. "He's desperate to help the team, so that's been really good from him."
If Newton keeps this up, don't be surprised to see No. 23 running routes and catching passes for the Tigers this fall.
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