Native coached AU’s Newton

Published 8:02 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brewton native Ronnie Blackmon grew up an Alabama fan. But on the biggest football day in the state of Alabama this season, Blackmon will be an Auburn fan.
“Growing up in Brewton, I pulled for Alabama because of Bear Bryant and Walter Lewis,” Blackmon said. “I always pulled for the Crimson Tide and there was nothing more exciting than the Iron Bowl after Thanksgiving.”
But why the change of heart this one season you might ask? The reason behind the change of heart for Blackmon this season is Auburn Tiger quarterback Cam Newton.
“I am pulling for Auburn this year and Cam Newton,” Blackmon said. “During my coaching career, I have had the chance to work with talented players and high profile players.
“I worked with Eric Berry, Adam “Pac man” Jones, but Cam Newton is in a class of his own.”
Blackmon grew up in Brewton and graduated from Southern Normal High School in 1988.
After graduation he went Alabama State University and later transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta.
While at Morehouse, Blackmon earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in health and physical education.
In 2007, Blackmon went to Walden University and earned a master’s degree.
While at Morehouse, Blackmon played football. Blackmon always enjoyed the game of football since an early age always wanted to be a coach. Blackmon began his coaching career at Morris Brown College where he coached running backs, but in 2003 went to the high school ranks.
While in high school, Blackmon coached Berry, who played at the University of Tennessee, and Newton, who is now the leader at Auburn.
“Cam came out of little league football as a 14-year-old quarterback when I was his position coach at West Lake High School in Georgia,” Blackmon said. “He was only 5-8 then and a very likeable kid. He had something special. His arm was like a rifle. He worked and trained in our system and quickly overnight he developed into a quarterback.”
Blackmon said the third game of the season that year in football, he lobbied the head coach to get Cam, who dressed with the varsity as a seventh grader, to play.
“He led us to victory over our rival,” Blackmon said.
Of course, unless you have been living under a rock, Newton and his family are under investigation for a pay-to-play system while being recruited. Blackmon does not believe any of it.
“I can honestly say, the Newton family are great people,” Blackmon said. “It is hard for me to believe it. I know them personally and I talk to Cecil, Cam’s dad, all the time. My son and his youngest son are best friends.
“It is just hard for me to believe what they say happened between Cecil and Mississippi State.”
While the investigation is still ongoing of the Newton’s, Cam has developed into the best college football player this season in some of the media’s eyes and is the frontrunner for the Heisman.
“In my personal opinion, it will be a sad day for college football if Cam does not win the Heisman,” Blackman said. “He is the most deserving and best player. Nothing has been proven to be concrete nor has anyone been found guilty.”
Blackmon said Auburn coach Gene Chizik has done a great job with the Tigers this season.
“I hope that Auburn wins the National Championship this season,” Blackmon said. “That will be two in a row for the state of Alabama and means a lot of good football is in this state.”
Blackmon is now back in the high school coaching ranks after coaching at Clark Atlantic.
He is coaching at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Georgia where he is coaching his son Ronnie Jr.
“I just wanted to be closer to my family and coach my son,” Blackmon said. “Ronnie Jr. is a seventh grader and is very talented.”
While Blackmon wants Auburn and Cam to win this Friday against his Crimson Tide, he said things would change immediately.
“After the game Friday, I will be back an Alabama fan,” Blackmon said with a laugh.

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About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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