Bo knows a special player when he sees one, and the most iconic football player in Auburn history has been enthralled by what he’s seen out of Cam Newton this season and the No. 1 Tigers.
“I haven’t seen one like him, not at quarterback,” Bo Jackson said earlier this week, fresh off a hunting trip.
Obviously, Jackson is royalty at Auburn. For that matter, he’s royalty in the SEC.
In my time of watching SEC football, which goes back to the late 1970s, Jackson would be in my holy trinity along with Herschel Walker and Peyton Manning as the three best players I’ve seen in this league.
So when Bo speaks, I listen, and something tells me they’re listening on the Plains, too.
He’s marveled as much as anybody this season at what Newton has done to SEC defenses.
But over and above that, Jackson is a fan of where this entire Auburn program is headed.
“From an Auburn football player, it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve been this excited about Auburn football,” Jackson said. “I actually don’t watch football and don’t watch baseball, but I watch Auburn football.
“This is one of those years when I couldn’t wait for the season. It was the same way last year. I couldn’t wait for the season to start, not because of what has happened, but because I knew the people that are running the show down there now care more about the players than just what they do on the football field. When you have that and the performance they’re getting, this is the kind of season you get.”
Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1985, is on record as saying that he’s voting for Newton.
And while Newton is clearly the front-runner right now nationally with his 14 rushing touchdowns and 13 passing touchdowns, Jackson said the only trophy on Newton’s mind is a national championship trophy.
“I’m quite sure Cam Newton would tell you the same thing,” Jackson said. “He’d rather win a team accolade than an individual accolade. That’s the type of kid he is.”
Jackson was also on board with the hiring of Gene Chizik from the beginning and liked his pedigree.
“He was on the staff here when we went unbeaten in 2004 and then went to Texas and helped them win a national championship,” Jackson said. “From there, he went to Iowa State to coach a football team that was little to none. At Iowa State, they drew more for a wrestling match than they did for a football game, so he really didn’t have too much to work with.
“But he’s fit right in at Auburn, and as I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good about the football team.”