Newton named Panthers starter for opener

The Carolina Panthers have named Cam Newton as their starting quarterback for their regular season opener against Arizona on September 11.

Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, beat out former Notre Dame star Jimmy Clausen for the starting nod and is eager to display his talents on the professional stage.

"It's a big opportunity and a big responsibility to be a starter in this league," Newton said following the team's final preseason game on Thursday. "I didn't expect anything to be given to me. ... It doesn't stop here. We have a long way to go."

Newton emerged as the star of college football last season, leading Auburn over Oregon for the national title after winning the Heisman Trophy.

He set single-season Auburn records for passing and rushing touchdowns, rushing yards by a quarterback, and total yards of offense.

The Panthers were certainly in need of quarterback help after going 2-14 last season with Clausen and Matt Moore under center. They finished with a total touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-21.