In the process, he broke Peyton Manning's record of 3,739 yards passing for a rookie.On January 1, 2012 against the New Orleans Saints, Newton threw for 158 yards and became the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards.Dave Zirin, reporter for The Nation.com, even accused Richardson of racism.His quarterbacks coach was Mike Shula, former head football coach of his college rival Alabama.He threw for 256 yards and 1 touchdown, completing 18 of his 23 passes.He also rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown, including one run for 25 yards.After Newton's second career game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers commented, "I think someone said in the locker room that I'm kind of glad we played him early in the season because when he figures it out fully, he's going to be even tougher to stop." Newton's three additional interceptions against the Packers tied him for the most interceptions thrown in the league.His total passing yards over the first three games was 1,012 yards.
His 422 passing yards broke Peyton Manning's rookie record for most passing yards on opening day.
As a 16-year-old junior, he passed for 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns and ran for 638 yards and nine touchdowns, gaining the attention of major college programs.
In his senior year, Newton was rated a five-star prospect by Rivals.com, the No.
2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, and the 14th quarterback and 28th player overall.
He received scholarship offers from Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech.