Archive for September 19th, 2017

Protect Caylin Newton At All Costs

September 19, 2017

Howard University has a superstar in true freshman quarterback Caylin Newton.  Nobody knows how that just happened, but now the next smart thing to do is to protect him at all costs.  Hashtag: #ProtectCaylin.  Caylin Newton has a chance to take Howard University to the big time in football.  The Buffalo Soldiers have given way to a slick new Bison logo provided on Under Armour uniforms and the reboot is the perfect time make gains in athletics.  The offensive and defensive lines are the areas that need improving the most, and by the looks of things, the Bison have their work cut out for them.  Recruiting at the linemen positions will have the greatest impact in the immediate future and it is a crucial stepping stone to make the most of Caylin’s time.

Caylin Newton already proved that he has big game potential when he shocked the world by leading Howard football over UNLV, on the road, to upset the biggest point spread in history.  Howard football is currently sporting a record of 1-2 but considering that they changed the record books in week one, the next two losses were progressively worse.  Caylin Newton has certainly inspired the Bison to punch above their weight, but when they faced the University of Richmond they fell 68-21.  Meeting the fellow FCS school, Richmond Spiders, was a humbling experience that exposed the need to augment the talent up front.

Football starts when they snap the ball and Howard University is going to have to get better at dominating the line of scrimmage.  Pass protection is going to continue to be an issue for the Bison because Caylin Newton lacks the size of his older brother.  Caylin has matched Cam Newton’s indomitable will to win so far, and that can lead to dangerous situations.  Caylin Newton plays with a chip on his shoulder, stalling for time, dipping and dodging, and slanging on the run.  Shifty moves have kept defenders at bay for the moment, but the Bison can’t afford to continue to let Caylin take these risks.

While most of the competition that the Bison will face is nothing like their first three opponents, Howard football should also take the hint that as game tape makes the rounds good teams may start to figure things out.  Caylin Newton’s statistics against Richmond last week are a sign of weaknesses that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

PASSING CP-TO-INT YDS TD LONG
Caylin Newton 5-17-2 183 1 43
RUSHING TO YDS TD LONG
Caylin Newton 10 24 1 17

 

 

The Howard University defense didn’t fare much better against the Spiders.  The Bison gave up 333 yards on the ground to go along with the massive 68 point total.  It would be difficult to muster a win against fellow HBCU or MEAC opponents with those kinds of numbers.  A strong pass rush and an ability to stop the run are essential components necessary to compete for a championship in football.

Whether looking for talent or for inspiration on the gridiron, new head football coach Mike London doesn’t have to go far.  After suffering the walloping defeat against a team London led to an FCS national title in 2008, it should be easy for him to take a page out of their book.  Mike London needs to scope out and scoop up local talent because the Washington DC metropolitan area is producing NCAA Division 1 athletes at an unbelievable clip.  DMV schools like the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland have made it point to focus on a few elite high schools in the area, in particular, and Howard needs to do the same.

Caylin Newton Twitter

Caylin has joy for the game.

Perhaps the last time that Howard University was in this position Jay “Sky” Walker was the quarterback for the Bison.  The team was a perfect 11-0 in Walker’s senior year and they were crowned the National Champions of Black College Football in 1993.  It is certain that the 1993 team will be inducted into the Howard University Athletics Hall of Fame soon, and Jay Walker can be seen on ESPN broadcasts and in the Maryland House of Delegates.  Howard University is the institution for Black learning and it sports monikers such as The Capstone and The Mecca.  The school sells itself long before the conversation turns to mundane activities such as football -and Howard definitely wants to keep it that way.

The Jay “Sky” Walker or Antoine Bethea type of player can remain among the Bison elite and bring more recognition for The Hilltop to chronicle.  The Yard has seen the most famous of our people and nothing happening on a football field is going to change that.  With that already stated, Howard University athletics needs to make a recruiting push to protect assets that they have already acquired on the field.  Howard University has a good reputation in everything and Caylin Newton is only going to add to that.  The Bison need to thicken the herd and we should all prepare for the coming stampede.  Players of his caliber don’t come along very often, but when they do there will be others looking benefit from all of that added attention.

For full disclosure, we need to also state that Caylin Newton is not completely alone right now and that there are others doing their parts.  Senior running back Anthony Philyaw was honored as a preseason national watchlist candidate and was named the Preseason MEAC Player of the Year according to the Howard University Athletics website.  Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Anthony was placed on the Preseason All-MEAC second team and shows promise.  From Miami, Florida the Bison have senior linebacker Devin Rollins who is probably their best defensive player on their best defensive unit.  These few players illustrated the problem in a close loss to Kent State two weeks ago.  There just aren’t enough of the guys doing the dirty work to make sure Caylin Newton can shine at this moment.

The skill positions will be okay but Howard football needs to bulk up and show that they know how to play football again by controlling the trenches.  The offensive line is set to graduate forty percent of their ten roster spots next year and will be looking for stability.  While they are much younger on the defensive side of the ball, the Bison should probably consider sacrificing one of those roster spots to add a defensive end.  Howard doesn’t want to get caught with their pants down around their ankles when teams inevitably try to shut down Caylin Newton with hard-to-read blitz packages and by hogging the time of possession.

Howard University is on the verge of breakthrough if they can address these issues.  (Watch the Twitter hashtags if you want to see a grown man troll them to death, if they don’t: #PullYoPantsUp and #CombYoHair.)  We hope that they don’t drop the ball by leaving Caylin Newton overexposed.  Black college football needs this, also.  Caylin Newton’s choice to attend to Howard and start on the field right away bodes well for a unique and important subculture of the game.  The recent changes in the Howard University Athletic program demonstrated that it feels good when the Bison are leading in every aspect.  Building around Caylin Newton sends the right message to other athletes with high skill sets that are considering an education at Howard University or other HBCU’s.

Caylin Newton is a quarterback that is going to make the news.  All Howard University football needs to do is to keep him safe in order to make sure that there will always be good news to report.   All of that begins with the right recruiting approach.  That is the real football mission that is very possible.

We are going to keep it digital here and keep you posted.  Go Bison!

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