Auburn football fans will never forget the greatness of Cam Newton. Years before his underwhelming stint with the New England Patriots, “Super Cam” helped the Tigers shock the world and win the 2010 National Championship, using his dazzling dual-threat abilities to embarrass defenses.

Former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn still has high praise for his former star, via 247 Sports.

“True with a capital T,” Malzahn said when asked if Newton's the best player in SEC history. “I think he's the greatest college player to ever play one year. I don't know how anyone can argue against it. I mean, look at what he did. We didn't have a lot of NFL players on our team, especially the offense. We won the National Championship, he willed us to win.”

While Newton lit up the stat sheet in a Heisman-winning year, what impressed Malzahn the most was his intimidating demeanor.

“I will say this, I've been coaching for 37 years,” Malzahn continued. “He's the only player that you could feel fear in the defenses out there. We played real defenses, some of the best in the country. You could feel they were scared of him, so that should tell it all.”

Younger college football fans may not remember how big of a deal Newton was back then. How did he become so great? Was Malzahn right, or did he overrate his former player?

Newton deserves to be on the NCAA's Mount Rushmore for what he did with Auburn football

Auburn Tigers quarterback Cam Newton (2) celebrates with fans after the 2011 BCS National Championship game against the Oregon Ducks at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Ducks 22-19.
© Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After stints at Florida and Blinn Junior College, Newton finally landed a full-time starting gig at the FBS level with the Tigers. Malzahn took a chance on a relatively unproven commodity, and the Atlanta native didn't disappoint. He tossed 2.854 yards with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions to go with 1,473 rushing yards and 20 scores on the ground in one of the most electrifying college quarterback campaigns ever.

Malzahn also praised Newton's work ethic and drive, via 247's Cody Nagel.

“Obviously he's a very talented guy,” Malzahn said. “He was very driven, that's really what stood out to me. And he was really hungry. He was a blessing to coach. He allowed me to coach him hard. He really willed us to win, and it was really a great experience for me to coach a guy like him and watch what he did. I only had him for 11 months, but man, that was some of the best times really in my coaching career.”

In addition to the Heisman, Newton also received AP and Sporting News College Football Player of the Year, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Manning Award, Davey O'Brien Award, Chic Harley Award, Consensus All-American, SEC Offensive Player of the Year and First-team All-SEC honors that season.

Although he was never quite able to reach those same heights in the NFL, anyone who discredits Newton's legacy isn't educated about the college game. The fact that he took a decent, but not elite Auburn squad to the game's mountaintop while operating in the country's most competitive conference shows that he was a special talent, even if he only started one season in school.