Leading the charge for the East squad in the inaugural Offense-Defense All-American Bowl is Rivals250 quarterback Cameron Newton. The 6-foot-4, 232-pounder said he is honored to be invited to the game and looks forward to representing the Florida Gators.
"It's a great experience to be a part of," he said. "First of all, I've got to say I feel very lucky to be nominated. I can't wait to participate in a great game like this because it'll be a lot of fun. Not just the best players in the region will be playing, but it's a chance for me to play with a lot of big names in high school football and I feel I'm ready for it."
Five facts about Cameron Newton
• Sports hero is Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
• Admires former president John F. Kennedy.
• Favorite movie is "Friday Night Lights"
• Favorite Web site is Rivals.com.
• Wants to major in Business.
Newton feels the invitation to the game is a reward for all of his efforts during the offseason.
"It means a lot," he stated. "It shows all my hard work paid off. You try to do your best in the summer at combines and on Friday nights during games. It's great to get a little bit of appreciation to be nominated for a game like this."
Newton will play quarterback in the all-star game and hopes to impress.
"I just want to show off my ability across the nation," he said. "That's the big thing for me, to show I can play against the competition."
The Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake star committed to the Gators in September. Newton plans to try to recruit a bit for Florida while at the game.
"It won't take much to lure other players," he said. "I'm just going to say to them that it's great to be a Florida Gator. If they are looking for a great school with an excellent coach then they should go there."
The Peach State prospect finished the year with more than 2,000 yards of offense.
"We lost our playoff game in the second round and ended up 6-6 on the year," he said. "I was somewhat happy with my season, but when you're a senior you want to be the best and go out with a bang. I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to bring a championship home, but I feel I played to my ability."