The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Football player returning to field after stint at TCC

By Eric Poe/sports editor

For NE student Cameron Newson, football is life.“My lifetime goal was to play in the NFL,” he said. “Football is not for everybody, but by all means necessary, I’m gonna try and get on a team.”

Newson is taking the steps to achieve his goal by playing his second year of college football next fall at the University of North Texas.

“I’m going into spring practice next semester, and I don’t expect it to be easy,” he said. “My mindset is that these guys are D[ivision] I, so I got to be mentally prepared ‘cause it’s not easy. I expect to have to work hard.”

Newson’s journey to UNT is one year removed from playing at the reigning junior college national champion Blinn College in the small Central Texas town of Brenham.

“It was like being in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “No attractions. Just trees and stuff. It was just school and football.”

Newson’s experience at Blinn let him know what college football was all about.

“At first when you get there, you question, ‘Do I wanna play college football?’” he said. “There’s no room for error, and you got to be on top of your game. Even though it is a junior college, you have to be prepared mentally and physically.”

Newson said the winning tradition of the school was difficult to live up to.

“It was hard to keep it going,” he said. “There were big shoes to fill. We had to keep the Blinn tradition going by trying to beat everyone really bad. In high school, we went 3-7, so it was kind of like a different atmosphere.”

Newson was a punt returner at Blinn. While he did not play many games, he still had the collegiate experience.

“I was the third-string returner,” he said. “I barely played that much, but I got some action. I redshirted most of the year, but I played in the last three games. I got a taste of college football.”

Newson said a different mindset is required of returners.

“You have to want to do it,” he said. “You have to show up prepared mentally every day. If you’re lackadaisical, you’ll get crushed. That happened to me when I first got there. You have to know when you have to call a fair catch.”

Newson said his method of returning punts is unorthodox.

“When I was growing up, my aunt said to act like my uncle’s dogs were chasin’ me, so every time I run, I picture those dogs,” he said with a laugh. “My friends ask if I’m still running for my life on the field.”

Newson said his speed is his best quality on the field.

“I was the shortest guy at Blinn, so if I didn’t have speed along with my hands and vision, I’d be in trouble,” he said.

Newson’s friend and fellow NE student David Hawkins said his intelligence is what separates him from other players.

“He uses his smarts, and most players aren’t smart these days,” he said. “And he uses his speed in a smart way. He doesn’t just try and outrun people. He’s smart with it.”

Hawkins said Newson’s small stature gives him a chip on his shoulder.

“It makes him work harder even though he’s already a hard worker,” he said. “If he’s not the best when he gets out there, he will be by season’s end.”

Newson used his speed in his high school days as a running back and played in the Houston-area Space City Classic all-star game his senior year after transferring to Clear Brook High School following three years at Keller Central High School.

“We played a lot of legit teams,” he said. “And it was me and two other running backs who would get the carries. I had about 600 yards and seven touchdowns that year. Maybe if I went to that school freshman year, I would have been over 1,000 yards.”

In addition to excelling at football in high school, Newson ran track, reaching the regionals two years in a row.

“I ran the 100, 200 and 400,” he said. “I liked track, but my first love was football.”

His high school summer track coach, Brian Davis, said Newson outworked everyone else on the team.

“He had a lot of natural ability,” he said. “He was shorter than everyone else, so he had to put in that extra work. Even after a two-hour workout, he’d want to do extra. He was very self-motivated to get better and always had a good attitude. I’m sure that’s how he was with football, too.”

Newson is now using that work ethic to get in playing shape for the start of practices.

“We start spring practice in February,” he said. “Every day, I’m running and lifting. They [UNT coaches] just told me ‘Be prepared to workout. We aren’t taking any slackers.’”

Newson returned to the area after his one-year stint at Blinn to help his grandmother take care of his ailing grandfather while gaining more credit hours on his way to UNT. As long as he keeps his GPA above 2.25, everything will be set for next semester, he said.

Newson said even with workouts every day, a 12-hour academic workload and a job at UPS, he still finds time to spend with his family.

“I love playing video games with my little brothers,” he said. “If they weren’t in my life, they wouldn’t complete me. And I like sharing gossip with my aunt and my mom and watching sports with my dad.”

While watching football with his father, Newson often sees his NFL equivalent in action.

“My NFL comparison is Brandon Banks for the Redskins because he’s technically my size,” he said. “Every time broadcasters talk about him, they use the word ‘fearless.’ If he can do it, I can do it.”

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