Quarterback Newton works to forge own path


Caylin Newton looks the sideline for a play in a game vs Woodward Academy

Alex Tonico

Most people only know Caylin Newton as “Cam Newton’s little brother.” They don’t know the Newton who likes to put marshmallows in his eggnog. They don’t know the Newton whose favorite movie is “Planet of the Apes.’’

“I wake up, hit the snooze button, wake up again, hit the snooze button a few more times before I eat breakfast, go to school, go to practice and then go home and repeat the process,” said Newton, Grady’s starting quarterback.

Sounds familiar? Just another regular high school kid, right?

“Outside of football, I don’t even really see him as a teammate; I just see him as a friend that I can hang out with,” senior lineman Theron Anches said. Senior running back and cornerback DiMarcus Clay, who has been friends with Newton since they were 11, pointed out that Newton hasn’t changed much since their days with the Ben Hill parks and recreation team.

“He’s gotten more bowlegged, but that’s really it,” Clay said.

Although he’s a normal student at school, people also don’t see the Newton who works for everything he has. He doesn’t have much of an offseason; his football season usually ends in November, but he starts practicing in January, way before spring training starts for the team.

“I don’t want to hype him up, but he always worked hard,” Clay said.

Newton knows that nothing is going to come easy to him based on his last name.

“You get out what you put in is what I try to live by,” Newton said. The people around him the most talk about the side of Newton many don’t see.

“The kid always had a lot of work ethic,’’ Grady offensive coordinator Terry Jones said. “It’s part of his nature. His family made him work his butt off. He goes out there and his dad makes him run the trail and do all those different types of things. He’s a hard worker.”

Even teammates who haven’t been with him for long see that Newton’s work ethic is one of his strongest and most noticeable traits.

“He’s a hard-working guy, and it helps him play bigger than size,” Anches said.

Newton’s hard work and effort to open last season against Washington went viral on video.

“That’s one of my best football memories,” Newton said. “That, and the feeling of winning after a game.”
All that extra work helped Newton end last season with 300 all-purpose yards in the first round of the state playoffs against Northwest Whitfield. Newton’s hot streak continued into this current season, as he has played a part in five total touchdowns — two rushing and three passing — in a 53-0 season-opening win over North Atlanta on Aug. 19  and a display of dominance, which included 207 rushing yards and a few more nasty spin moves against Woodward Academy, which was then the No. 2 team in Class AAAA.

Newton said he has enjoyed his time at Grady off the field as well.

“Grady has been a great experience for me,” Newton said. “I feel like a normal kid here.” This season, Newton and the rest of the football team have high hopes after starting the season 2-0.

“Knowing Caylin is in the backfield really helps take the pressure off of the offensive lineman, since he’s a dual threat quarterback,” senior offensive tackle Brandon Kemp said.

Newton currently has scholarship offers from Hampton University, Howard University, Savannah State University and Kentucky Christian University, but this season, he’s looking to quadruple that number.

“I feel like with this team we can go very far,” Newton said. “I’m not really worried about the individual offers because I know that if we keep winning, everybody will be taken care of.”

Caylin Newton warms up before playing North Atlanta.
Caylin Newton warms up before playing North Atlanta.
Caylin Newton looks the sideline for a play in a game vs Woodward Academy
Caylin Newton looks the sideline for a play in a game vs Woodward Academy