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Could Heisman winner Cam Newton have been a successful Auburn hoops player?

In NCAA Football '13, users can take any former Heisman Trophy winner and slot them into the top of their favorite team's depth chart. That means Tim Tebow can give all his effort for Georgia, Charles Woodson can lock down Big Ten wide receivers wearing scarlet and grey, and Doug Flutie can play for...well...West Virginia.

But while others day dream about a former Heisman Trophy winner donning another school's uniform, I wonder what winners would have likely been able to compete, and maybe even succeed, playing college basketball*.

The person that immediately came to mind was the one and only Cam Newton.

At 6-5, 250 pounds with the ability to scamper, Cam Newton doesn't have the body of a football quarterback, he has the body of a freak athlete; someone that would probably be pretty good at just about any sport he took a liking to, including basketball.

In fact, Newton even played basketball in high school, making the Westlake (Atlanta) High School team as a freshman.

Back in 2010, when Newton was tearing up the SEC en route to winning the Heisman, Auburn head basketball coach Tony Barbee absolutely gushed about the potential of Newton as a member of the Tigers hoops team:

"He might be bigger than anybody I have on my team," Barbee said during an SEC Media Day. "I don't need to [see him play]. As fast as he is and as athletic as he is, I'll find a way to use him."

And Barbee was probably speaking far more seriously thank you may think. During the 2010-2011 season, his Tigers went 15-16 overall, and 5-11 in SEC play. Aside from lacking a number of key components that make up a successful college basketball team, the Tigers were very deficient in athleticism. They had no tweener type player who could score and defend an oversized wing.

Newton, who may not have had a sweet shooting stroke since, you know, he didn't really play basketball, could have probably stopped Terrence Jones from dropping 35 points on 11-17 shooting, or maybe not allowed Ole Miss' Zack Graham to shoot 7-11 from beyond the arc based on his raw athletic ability.

Those things happened, and Barbee didn't have a defender to limit these scoring outputs. Something tells me Gene Chizik's guy who played under center that fall could have helped.


This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13.
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*Yes, I realize that Florida State's Charlie Ward won the Heisman Trophy and played basketball for the Seminoles. But since he actually was a two-sport athlete, we know what he was capable of on the gridiron and hardwood, making it a short bar room conversation.