The Carolina Panthers are recooping from their first loss of the year and looking forward to the second game of the preseason, but quarterback Cam Newton is also looking ahead to his debut as a coverboy for GQ Magazine.
The September issue is part of the magazine's NFL Kickoff 2012 and features the rookie standout along with former teammate and now New York Jets QB Tim Tebow.
In addition to gracing the cover of the magazine, Cam is featured in a multi-page spread where he talks about modesty, college, and the fiasco with his dad and Mississippi State.
Cam did the interview in Florida while he was at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
When asked about the scars and bruises that cover his body, Newton says he can't remember where any of them came from.
"Just wounds," he says. "If you don't get a few of these every game, you haven't played."
The article talks about Cam's transformation from growing up outside of Atlanta to living in the same building as Michael Jordan.
"If I come out and say, ‘I will be the greatest to ever play this game,' that's a no-no. People want to see humble," Newton said. "The only thing that's going to get you away from all the talk is winning. Winning excuses everything."
Cam's former Florida Gator teammate Tim Tebow will also be on the cover of the magazine as well. Newton spent time as Tebow's backup in the Swamp.
"If I had said to Tim, ‘Man, can we spend some extra time to study the playbook?' he would have done it. I didn't take advantage of what was right in front of me," Newton said. "If I had, maybe his mentality would have hit me sooner. Basically I was immature and unfocused. I would never, ever make that mistake again."
Newton says he was crushed when he was asked to leave Florida.
"I sometimes cried myself to sleep at night. But I was thinking, ‘I've got to grow up. Either I'm doing it right now or I'm going home a screw-up.' I was force fed it, and I ate it," he said, "It was like divine intervention. It was like a whole new core of Cam, of myself, being created."
But he told GQ it was his dad that really drove him hard
"He was like my superhero," Newton says. "If something was broke, he could fix it. If I was lost somewhere, he would find me. If I was crying, he could cure it. I knew that if I had my father with me, everything was going to be all right."
Newton's father was accused of demanding a $180,000 donation to his church from Mississippi State in exchange for his Cam playing there. The NCAA investigated the claims, but couldn't conclude whether Auburn had been asked to pay such a fee.
Newton and his dad told GQ that the fiasco brought them closer together.
"I was more concerned with how he was feeling," Newton said. "When my father was going through all that stuff, I was like, ‘I'm here for you, bro.' And it wasn't ‘Pops' anymore. It was ‘bro.'"
For the full article, pick up the September issue of GQ - which hits newsstands next Tuesday - or click over to GQ.com.