Credit Cam Newton for reaching out to Bo

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
11:30
AM ET
Bo knows. Cam wants to know.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton recently reached out to fellow Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, whose signature "Bo Knows" Nike cross-training shoes campaign was made popular in the late 1980s, on how to deal with injuries.

Newton
Newton
Newton is recovering from surgery to tighten the tendons in his left ankle that has been an issue since he won the 2010 Heisman after leading Auburn to the national title.

Jackson, the 1985 Heisman winner, suffered a hip injury in 1991 that ended his football career and forced him to focus on his baseball career.

"Bo is kind of like my long-lost big brother, so to speak," Newton said during Carolina's offseason workout program on Tuesday. "He's a guy I know and I can trust that can keep it a hundred, as we say, keep it real with me no matter what the situation is as far as personal life or professional life.

"He's helped me out so much in my career now, and any time you have a guy like that, of that magnitude, that you can reach out [to] and ask questions, that's what I do."

This is part of how Newton is handling the mental side of dealing with injuries. The first pick of the 2011 draft said he's asked more questions and watched more film than ever before.

Jackson has become one he's leaned on the most, not only on dealing with injuries but fame and fortune.

Fortunately for Newton, he's not going through anything as traumatic as Jackson did with his hip. Newton's surgery is expected to make his ankle stronger than ever.

Or to paraphrase Newton, it's scary to think of how much better he can be with a healthy set of wheels.

The key here is Newton's willingness to reach out to athletes like Jackson. Not all star players are so willing.

"A guy who has been a hyped athlete, to do the things that he's done and to deal with injuries ... how does he deal with it?" Newton said. "Whoever, no matter if you're an athlete or businessman, I'm always looking for ways to make me better."

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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