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December 14, 2009

Newton headlines juco top 50

There wasn't any doubt at all.

After leading Blinn (Texas) College to the junior college national championship two weeks ago, quarterback Cameron Newton firmly established himself as the nation's most dynamic playmaker in the junior college ranks.

But Newton wasn't just dominating in that one game alone.

The numbers he put up as a sophomore were almost mind-boggling, and he's now been honored by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 1 junior college player.

"He's a no-brainer," Blinn assistant coach Keith Browning said.

"He's a tall kid with a big arm, but he can tuck it down and run it in, too."

Newton, a 6-foot-6, 247-pound dual-threat quarterback with the size of Jamarcus Russell, the mobility of Terrelle Pryor and a rocket arm to go with the other traits, was named his conference's offensive player of the year three times in the regular season.

Against Tyler Junior College Newton displayed how dangerous he was by compiling 564 yards of total offense. In that game, Newton rushed for 204 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries and completed 19 of 26 passes for 360 yards and two TDs.

He also helped Blinn win the national championship with a second-half effort that will be remembered in Central Texas for years to come.

"That kid is special," Fort Scott coach Jeff Sims said after the game. "Cameron Newton is a heck of a football player."

Newton headlines the updated Rivals.com junior college top 50. He's followed in the top five by Jakar Hamilton of Milledgeville (Ga.) Georgia Military College, John Cullen of Fullerton (Calif.) Fullerton C.C., Scott Smith of El Dorado (Kan.) Butler County C.C. and Randall Mackey of Scooba (Miss.) East Mississippi C.C.

Hamilton has pledged to Georgia and Mackey is heading to Ole Miss. Newton is deciding between Oklahoma, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Auburn and Kansas State and Smith is torn between Arkansas and Texas Tech.

Like many junior college players, Newton, Hamilton and Smith have the ability to sign national letters-of-intent this Wednesday as the beginning of midyear signing period opens up.

This year's juco class is heavy on the defensive side of the ball.

Nine defensive tackles made the list with Mississippi State pledge James Carmon of Perkinston (Miss.) Gulf Coast C.C. leading the way at No. 8 overall. The defensive end position features eight that made the top 50. Smith is the headliner, but Ole Miss recruit Wayne Dorsey of Gulf Coast C.C. comes in at No. 15.

Six linebackers led by Arizona State commit Bruce Irvin of Walnut (Calif.) Mt. San Antonio C.C. at No. 6 and Nebraska recruit Lavonte David of Fort Scott C.C. at No. 7 were on the list. Seven defensive backs were featured with Dequan Menzie of Wesson (Miss.) Copiah-Lincoln C.C. coming in at No. 14 and Florida State recruit Mike Harris of El Camino C.C. in the No. 16 spot.

Only two quarterbacks (Newton and Quinn Mecham at No. 47) made the rankings and no running backs cracked the top 50. Six receivers led Torrance (Calif.) El Camino C.C.'s Kenbrell Thompkins at No. 10 made the list and only three tight ends made it.

Offensive line is always a heavily recruited position and that's the same in this year's class with seven making the top 50. Cullen is at No. 3 followed by Brice Schwab of San Marcos (Calif.) Palomar C.C. at No. 9, Roszell Gayden of Visalia (Calif.) College of the Sequoias at No. 11 and Jermarcus Hardrick of Fort Scott C.C. at No. 13.


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