Kristen Finstad

Malzahn Compares Manziel To Newton

Created on Oct. 18, 2013 12:26 PM EST

As Auburn coach Gus Malzahn prepares his team for Saturday's game against No. 7 Texas A&M, he can't help but compare Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel to an Auburn legend, Cam Newton.

Newton, a Heisman Trophy winner, led the Tigers to the 2010 National Championship. Manziel, also a Heisman Trophy winner, is trying to lead the Aggies to a win on Saturday against Auburn.

Both have dominated the West Division of the Southeastern Conference, moving the ball through the air as well as on the ground, and both did so in No. 2 jerseys.

"I would say probably those two are probably two of the best that have ever played the game in college football," Malzahn told USA Today.

"We only got to see Cam Newton for one year, but this guy, he's in the same element. They're different, but they're still some of the best to ever play."

Newton set an SEC record in his one season at Auburn when he passed for 2,908 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1,586 yards and 24 touchdowns, totaling 4,370 yards of offense.

Manziel topped Newton as a redshirt freshman when he passed for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns and ran for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns, adding up to 5,116 total yards of offense.

Newton's former position coach is even in awe of Manziel.

"It's almost like watching a video game sometimes with the stuff he does," Malzahn said. "The human side, his competitiveness, his toughness, that's what really stands out to me. He's an extremely mentally and physically tough individual, and he plays with that edge."

Even Newton is a fan of Manziel and other athletic college quarterbacks.

"Johnny is a great football player and he's playing at a level that people don't even really see, as well as Clemson's Tajh Boyd," Newton said. "There are a lot of players across the nation that are playing great football at the quarterback position.

"When you look across the board and me being a fan of the game it's all about confidence. When you get a person playing with confidence, who knows what they're capable of? That goes to show you, when I was at Auburn I played with confidence."

Newton stayed true to his school and picked Auburn to come out on top in Saturday's matchup.

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