Quarterback Morgan Newton was one of the more celebrated recruits of the Rich Brooks era, a consensus high school All-American who was named Indiana's Mr. Football. When he signed with Kentucky, Newton was considered a candidate to challenge Mike Hartline for the starting job, but right now he's No. 3 on the depth chart and might be redshirted. Newton talked this week about where things stand.
Question: A lot was expected of you as a true freshman, yet you haven't seen the field and might not this season. What's your mindset?
Answer: I'm just trying to put myself in position to play and contribute. Obviously, Mike's the man right now. He had some tough times but was able to battle through it. I'm just trying to watch and learn and take in as much as I can.
Q: The coaches have said on several occasions that you're not ready to play. In your opinion, how close are you to being ready?
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A: To be honest, being a competitor, I feel like I'm always ready to go out and make plays and help and contribute. There are ways we can all improve, from Mike all the way down to Moss (fellow true freshman Ryan Mossakowski) and I. I feel like I'm always ready to go out and make plays, but they're the coaches, so if they say you're not ready, you've just to go and keep getting better. But if they called on me, I feel like I could go out there and try and lead the team and put points on the board. That's the job of quarterback.
Q: What have the coaches told you that you need to improve on?
A: Just consistency in making sure you know all the reads and progressions. That's something I've come a long way in and gotten better at. I'm able to do that better now than I was when I first got here.
Q: If you have to take a redshirt, where do you go from there?
A: It just comes down to battling. I would have four years of eligibility, four years of time to play and get better. It will definitely help to have an off-season in the weight room and with (quarterbacks) Coach (Randy) Sanders. You want to play. That's the ideal situation. But you've got to wait your turn and wait until you get the opportunity. We want to win a national championship here. But we've got to keep working to get to that level.