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Who'd a thunk it? Maybe the Gators need Cam Newton after all

GAINESVILLE -- First, the news...

1. Talked to Marcus Gilbert today. He told me he was staying put at left tackle for now and that Maurice Hurt might remain at right tackle at least until Tennessee.

2. That means Xavier Nixon remains questionable for South Florida. Nixon, the projected starter at left tackle during the preseason, is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

3. Carl Johnson is back and Gilbert says Johnson makes all the difference in the offensive line.

4. Mike Pouncey says his snapping problem is corrected. Says he's grabbing the ball at its nose "and just throwing it back there."

OK, now some food for thought ...

Everyone remembers Cam Newton, right? Former UF quarterback. Back-up to Tebow in 2007. Allegedly stole a laptop computer or at least bought a stolen laptop computer and tossed it out of his dorm window when UPD investigated his dorm for the theft. Everyone remembers him, right?

Well, no one seemed to mind when Newton packed his bags and left Gainesville a couple years ago. No one really thought the Gators needed him AND Brantley. In fact, at the time, many thought Newton leaving was good for Florida football because it could make room for a more talented quarterback. That attitude was obviously a mistake in judgment. The Gators could use Newton right now and that fact is not up for debate. If anything, he could be playing tight end right now, but he also might have been a pretty good quarterback at Florida because ...

Newton was named the SEC's first offensive player of the week after Auburn's 52-26 victory against Arkansas State. Now, I bet I could have made a lot of money on this blog if I bet people Newton and not Brantley would be the best quarterback in the SEC after Week One of the 2010 season. Here' s what Newton did to earn the honor, as written on the SEC's website ...

"In his Auburn debut, Newton rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns while completing 9 of 14 passes for 186 yards and three scores in Auburn's 52-26 win against Arkansas State.

"Newton accounted for 357 total offensive yards and five touchdowns, both highs in the SEC in Week One.

"His 171 yards rushing were a school single-game rushing record by a quarterback, breaking the previous mark of 160 held by Phil Gargis in 1974.

"The rushing total was the most in a debut by an Auburn player since Rudi Johnson's 174 rushing yards against Wyoming in 2000."

So, in other words, Cam Newton went Tim Tebow.

Everyone remembers what the knock on Newton was, right? All the talent in the world but didn't have any poise. Could never relax and play under pressure and blah, blah, blah. Obviously its way too early to begin a debate questioning whether the wrong quarterback stuck around in Gainesville. I'm sure Brantley will be fine and UF's spread-option offense will figure out how to thrive with a pure pocket passer under center, but it certainly would have helped to have Newton around just in case.

-jo-

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