There may not be anyone in college football today more qualified to draw comparisons between former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and current Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel than Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. Malzahn, who is prepping his Tigers to take on Manziel and A&M this weekend in a match-up of top 25 teams, was Auburn’s offensive coordinator when Newton went on his Heisman tear as Auburn played their way to a BCS Championship in the 2010 season.
“I would say probably those two are probably two of the best that ever played the game in college football,” said Malzahn, according to an Associated Press report.
Manziel and Newton are two completely different players of course. Manziel may be smaller but he is far more elusive on the run than Newton. Newton used his size to his advantage when running, at times overpowering would-be-tacklers, or as Alabama fans are well aware, sometimes he would roll over the pile if needed. Newton packed a strong arm as well when guiding Auburn to a BCS title.
“When you’ve got a special player, you can call anything and it usually works,” Malzahn said. “They get you out of bad plays and they can make stuff right that’s not right. Special ones can do that.”
Getting out of bad spots is something Newton excelled at for Auburn, and something Manziel is well-known to do time and time again.