Cam Newton has been criticized all season for his spotty play on the field.
Off the field, however, Newton has been nothing short of exceptional.
On Tuesday, the Panthers quarterback visited Randolph Middle School in Charlotte to celebrate a $150,000 gift from the Cam Newton Foundation to three Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
Newton spoke to an auditorium packed full of around 450 wide-eyed kids, many who worship the ground the 23-year-old walks on.
Dressed casually in jeans and sneakers, Newton preached the values of education and hard work as the keys to opening up opportunities in the future.
A much more mature Newton told the Charlotte Observer that he has learned a lot about what's important in life, including giving back to the community.
“You come to grips with what’s important … I want to continually let my impact grow on this community,” Newton said.
While Newton may have taken a step backward as a football player this season, he certainly has taken a step forward as a person.
Way to go, Cam.Tags: Cam Newton, Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Football, NFL