Caylin Newton is just 1-1 as a freshman starting quarterback but he’s already legendary in the streets of Washington, D.C. The younger brother of NFL MVP Cam Newton engineered the Howard Bison to the biggest upset in college football history last weekend in a 43-40 win, blasting a 45-point spread as road underdogs. Newton ran for nearly 200 yards while totaling three touchdowns in his official coming out party. The younger brother of Cam Newton playing freshman quarterback for one of the most famous HBCUs in the country—no, this isn’t a dream. This is really happening in Chocolate City.

Caylin Newton authored the upset of the early season as Howard shocked UNLV 43-40. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)

Despite a narrow 38-31 road loss to Kent State the following week on Sept. 9, Newton still added three more touchdowns as the Bison came up a touchdown shy of turning the college football world upside down for a second consecutive week. It’s rare that Black bluechip amateur athletes end up at HBCUs. But, when they do, the country starts to notice. Newton announced his commitment to Howard on Twitter back in January much to the surprise of…well…everyone. His older brother finished his collegiate career as a college champion for perennial power Auburn before going first overall in the 2011 draft.

What routinely goes unnoticed, however, is that the older Newton starred for a season at little-known Blinn College in Texas before transferring to Auburn, using a technicality that doesn’t allow transfers to sit out a season if they arrive from a lower division to a Division I school. The younger Newton could and probably will exercise the same route after failing to receive heavy interest coming out of high school in Atlanta, Ga. A strong season at Howard will likely put Caylin on the minds of bigger schools anxious to offer him a bigger stage than what the Bison can provide. But all of that is a whole season away as Howard still has a full slate of games left.

An opening weekend road win over UNLV and a close road loss against Kent State could set the Bison up for a fantastic finish to the season. Howard hasn’t even had their home opener yet and the city is already abuzz. The football program hasn’t been popular since the famed 1996 team led by quarterback Ted White and famed coach Steve Wilson. But things are on the rise again and and it’s primarily thanks to Newton. The show might not last too long, however, so Bison faithful need to soak up this season while they can.  


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO