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Dave Zirin, reporter for The Nation.com, even accused Richardson of racism.His quarterbacks coach was Mike Shula, former head football coach of his college rival Alabama.2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, and the 14th quarterback and 28th player overall.He received scholarship offers from Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech.Whitfield has worked with other quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger and Akili Smith.On April 28, 2011, Newton was selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.After Newton's second career game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers commented, "I think someone said in the locker room that I'm kind of glad we played him early in the season because when he figures it out fully, he's going to be even tougher to stop." Newton's three additional interceptions against the Packers tied him for the most interceptions thrown in the league.His total passing yards over the first three games was 1,012 yards.
On December 24, 2011, in a 48–16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton threw for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns and also rushed for 65 yards and a score.
As a 16-year-old junior, he passed for 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns and ran for 638 yards and nine touchdowns, gaining the attention of major college programs.
In his senior year, Newton was rated a five-star prospect by Rivals.com, the No.
He was the first reigning Heisman Trophy winner to go first overall since Carson Palmer in 2003. 1 selection after Tucker Frederickson (1965), Bo Jackson (1986), and Aundray Bruce (1988).
During the 2011 NFL lockout, he spent up to 12 hours a day at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida, spending up to two hours per day doing one-on-one training with fellow Heisman Trophy winner and ex-Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke.He threw for 256 yards and 1 touchdown, completing 18 of his 23 passes.