Winning a national title in college football all starts with recruiting. Just ask Alabama. But former Auburn national champion and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is hoping that rings true in the NFL as well.
Newton took the SEC’s recruiting prowess to the NFL last offseason in his pursuit of former Ole Miss star Michael Oher.
Newton needed a guy he could depend on at left tackle, and Oher, who played last season with the Tennessee Titans, was a free agent. So Newton put his recruiting hat on and went to work, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
“With the free agent pool, I’ve sent texts out before, called guys and said, ‘We’d love for you to be part of the team.’ But Mike was different,” Newton said to Smith. “I didn’t say, ‘I want you to be here.’ It was, ‘I need you.’ That’s different. Want and need are two different words, and that’s what I used in that text, along with other explicit words before the ‘need.’ And I think he got the feeling from that.”
So the relationship was born and the Oher signed with the Panthers.
Fast forward to now, and both guys have had an incredible season. Newton is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, and Carolina is less than two weeks away from playing in Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos.
It’s safe to say the move has worked out nicely.