Cam Newton ‘so happy’ for brother Caylin’s early success at Howard

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wasn’t worried on Tuesday about whether his surgically repaired shoulder would hold up in Sunday’s opener at the San Francisco 49ers.

Newton said he feels “great” physically.

The 2015 NFL MVP was more concerned about living up to the standard “little” brother Caylin Newton set on Saturday in leading Howard University to one of the biggest upsets in college football history based on the point spread.

Caylin had 330 yards of total offense and three touchdowns as Howard, a 45-point underdog, beat UNLV 43-40.

“I’ve got my hands full of trying to follow up a great performance by him,” Cam Newton said. “I just see all of the notoriety he’s been getting. I’ve just been seeing a lot of, ‘Cam Newton’s little brother. Cam Newton’s little brother.’

“I would just prefer his name be Caylin. He’s deserved that right.”

Caylin (5-foot-11, 194 pounds) pales in size compared with his big brother (6-5, 245 pounds). Because of his size, Caylin wasn’t highly recruited out of Grady High School in Atlanta, winding up at the historically black university in Washington, D.C.

Caylin Newton, the younger brother of NFL star Cam Newton, led his 45-point underdog Howard team to the biggest upset in college football history based on point spread. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Cam was one of the most sought-after quarterbacks in the country coming out of Westlake High in Atlanta. He initially went to Florida and finished as a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion at Auburn in 2010 before becoming the first pick of the 2011 NFL draft.

Newton on Tuesday teased Carolina outside linebacker Thomas Davis, a former first-round pick out of Georgia, that the Bulldogs made a mistake by not recruiting his brother.

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“I said, ‘Listen, Georgia needs a winner. Every Newton that I know is a winner. You dig what I’m saying? They missed out on yet another one.'” Newton said.

“He’s a very undersized quarterback. But yet, it doesn’t measure the heart that he has, what he brings to the table. He has that ‘it’ factor to have guys follow him. That’s what you want in your quarterback.”

The elder Newton, 28, has the physical size and the “it” factor teams look for. But this is a critical time for him, as he comes off statistically the worst season of his career and surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff.

Coach Ron Rivera said on Sunday that his quarterback was “ready” for the opener. He said on Tuesday that Newton wouldn’t be limited on any kinds of throws.

But Newton spent more time on Tuesday talking about his brother’s performance than himself.

“Now hearing him talk on the phone and hearing his responses to certain things … I’m telling him, like, you’re giving people hope,” Newton said. “Like a team that probably has been known for their band, you know, people are going to the football games now to watch football … not just to listen to the band play.”

Newton monitored the Howard-UNLV game on his ESPN phone app.

“There was a lot of refreshing going on,” he said. “But it was exciting talking to him prior to and after the game. I tried not to dump so much on him. It’s a difference when you’re Cam Newton. And it’s a difference when you’re big brother. So now I try to find a fine line and give him a lot of the experiences I’ve [had].”

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Newton said it’s like passing information on to a son or daughter.

“You can tell your kids everything they’re about to go through, but as soon as they go through it they’re like, ‘Man, I remember you telling me,'” he said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I told you.’

“I was just so happy for him. When he went through his whole little recruiting process he was getting so frustrated. I knew. I could tell. I could sense it.”

Newton compared watching Caylin being interviewed on ESPN to the attention Steve McNair got at Alcorn State in the mid-1990s. McNair went on to become the No. 3 pick of the 1995 draft and a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

“It’s just a [testament] to hard work,” Newton said. “For a person that wasn’t highly recruited, he seen his brother grow up and had accolades and had all the stardom coming out of high school.

“I just told him be patient, that everything works for the greater good, knowing everything that your heart desires is still at hand, no matter if you’re at Idaho Tech or wherever, they’re going to find out. You just do your part and everything else will take care of itself.”

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