CONNELLY SPRINGS, N.C. – Cam Newton has spoken openly about the challenges he's been confronted with this offseason.
Carolina's franchise quarterback is determined to bounce back from shoulder surgery, fueled by doubters who believe his best days are behind him. The soon-to-be 30-year-old acknowledges he's going through a challenging transition ahead of the 2019 season.
But no matter the circumstances surrounding Newton or his struggles internally, there has always been one constant: the joy he brings when he's around kids. They always get the same Cam.
Friday morning, Newton traveled to East Burke High School where nearly 1,000 fourth-graders were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Newton was a special guest for a Play 60 event put on by the Panthers and Atrium Health. The focus of the event was Atrium's "5210 League," which encourages children to lead healthy and active lives (five daily servings of fruits/veggies, no more than two hours of screen time, at least one hour of physical activity and zero sugary drinks).
Newton, as Panthers fans have come to know, is a natural with kids.
He answered questions about his eating habits (he's vegan now and gummies are his cheat treat) and he was hyping up contestants during a dance contest.
One boy was wearing a "Dab On 'Em" sweatshirt, which was too perfect with Newton standing tall next to him.
When a girl stood still during the dance contest because she was too shy, Newton encouraged her to call up her bestie for assistance.
Every part of the event, from the teacher vs. teacher push-up contest to the dress like a Panther competition, was enhanced by Newton's charismatic flair.
It doesn't matter what games are being played or what music their dancing to. Put Newton in a gymnasium packed with kids, and the outcome is always the same. Friday was just the latest reminder.
View photos of quarterback Cam Newton having a blast with students and teachers for a special Play 60 event at East Burke High School.