BURBANK, CA. (WSFA) - While his teammates headed east for home after a win in the BCS National Championship game, Auburn's star quarterback Cam Newton headed west for the lights of Hollywood.
Newton, who's no stranger to cameras and media coverage, was invited onto Tuesday night's edition of the "Tonight Show" on NBC. Host Jay Leno started off the six minute segment by joking that Newton had his famously large chin, though the host didn't have the rest of the "stuff", referring to the record-breaking quarterback's athletisism.
The two joked back and forth about several topics, including the small scooter that the towering football player rides across campus.
When asked if he would return to Auburn for a senior year, Newton said he hadn't made a decision yet. He has until January 15th to contemplate a declaration of intent to enter the NFL draft. He and several other Auburn players will sit down with AU's coaching staff soon to discuss options according to Coach Gene Chizik's statements Tuesday.
Newton spoke of his passion for kids and the desire to open a daycare center someday. "I just want to give back to my community where I came from: Atlanta, Georgia," he said. Leno motioned for silence from the audience before asking all the ladies to say "aww".
Newton touched on his year in community college, for which he won a JUCO National Championship, as a "rehab year". He said Auburn coach Gene Chizik recently told him the story about his recruitment to Auburn. Apparently, AU's coaches went to Blinn College in Texas looking at another possible recruit, though they eventually noticed a highlight reel for the future Heisman winner and the rest is history, albeit controversial.
Leno touched on the controversy that surrounded Newton, and his father's attempt to make money off his son's recruitment to Mississippi State. "I'd be lieing to you if I didn't say it wasn't hard at some point," Newton explained about being able to block out the surrounding whirlwind of scrutiny and making plays on the field. He credited support from friends, family and teammates for getting him through the ordeal. He and AU were eventually cleared by the NCAA, though his father, Cecil, had to distance himself from the University.
If appearing on the "Tonight Show" wasn't enough attention for Newton, Leno made sure to show him the cover of Sports Illustrated where he's front and center.