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KJ Jefferson draws comparison to college football legend

KJ Jefferson draws comparison to college football legend

Head coaches love their hyperbolic comparisons.

UFC Knights head coach Gus Malzahn was ready to heap praise on his new quarterback during Big 12 Media Days. When talking about new UCF quarterback KJ Jefferson, he compared his new player to former Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.

“Physically, it’s the closest thing to Cam (Newton) that I’ve had,” Malzahn explained. “He’s like a running back. He throws a great deep ball. We’re a run, play-action team with emphasis on throwing the ball downfield…I actually recruited him coming out of high school some. That’s when we took Bo Nix, so we knew each other. When he went in the portal, he was our guy. So, we’re blessed to have him.”

That’s a pretty bold comparison from Malzahn. The former head coach for the Auburn Tigers helped turn Newton into one of the most exciting players in college football history. In his one season for the Tigers, Newton racked up 2,854 yards, 30 touchdowns, and seven interceptions through the air while adding another 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground.

Meanwhile, Jefferson had been a respectable quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks before transferring to UCF. Over five seasons with the SEC schedule, he had racked up 88 total touchdowns, throwing for 7,911 yards and rushing for 1,876.

The two players can’t really be compared from a production standpoint, but it’s easy to see how they match up physically. Jefferson comes into UCF listed at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, while Newton was 6-foot-5 and 248 pounds heading into the NFL Scouting Combine before going pro.

Malzahn has the chance to revitalize Jefferson’s career with the Knights to really start making those comparisons for Jefferson more of a reality.