Defensive tackle Nick Fairley
On Saturday or before, Newton, the Heisman Trophy-winner, and Fairley, the Lombardi Award-winner, will announce whether they will make themselves available for the NFL draft or return for another Auburn season.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said he would support whatever decisions they made, and saluted them for staying focused on the business at hand through Monday night’s game.
“We’ll all sit down,” Newton said. “The time is obviously coming up. We had one focus before this game. I have so much respect for both of those guys. They are getting hit from every angle with the same question. They had a responsibility to the university, a responsibility to their teammates. It wasn’t about what the next move is. It was about what they needed to do to finish what they started. I couldn’t be more proud of those guys. It was not even part of the mix with me or them.
“I don’t really know exactly where those conversations are going to go, but at the end of the day, I always want what is best for the young man. We’ll throw some things out on the table and be very candid with them and their folks.”
Fairley, projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft by some, is virtually certain to leave. Newton, sources tell AuburnUndercover.com, has been given conflicting advice on whether he should head for the NFL or return for what would be only his second season as college starter.
Newton, playing with a back injury, threw two touchdown passes as Auburn beat Oregon 22-19 in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday night. Fairley had three tackles for losses, a sack and a forced fumble. He was named the game’s defensive MVP.
Both were noncommittal after the game.
“Honestly, I’m not going to make a decision right now,” Newton said. “It is something I have to sit down with Coach Chizik and my family and just get the vibe of so many different people. We will go from there.”
Fairley said he, too, will sit down with his parents and his coaches.
“I haven’t even thought about it,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
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