After one superb season in 1998 as the starting quarterback at Oregon – including a career-best 456-yard, three total touchdowns in his final game – the riches of the professional game were at his feet. But Akili Smith was a one year wonder.Technically he spent three years playing minor league baseball, and two seasons at Grossmond Jr College, before getting 19 starts at Oregon.
But it was his 1998 season in which he threw for 3763 yds and 32 TD with only 8 interceptions that caused his warp spead jump from mid round prospect to 3rd pick overall by the Cinncinati Bengals. Sure Cam Newton is bigger (6-5, 250 vs 6-3, 220), and with much greater running ability, but he threw for only 2589 yds and 28 TDs as a one year starter at Auburn. The problem is most QBs need to sit for a year (or more) but with Newton, it seems like he needs to play, as he has so little experience starting as a NCAA college QB. I believe his last game against (ironically enough) Oregon, he will have one of the best performances you will ever see (kinda like Vince Young against USC), and that along with a strong pro-day will cause a top 5 team to gamble on Cam Newton. Maybe that team will once again be the Cinncinati Bengals??