Cam Newton became Auburn's third Heisman Trophy winner when the junior quarterback was named the recipient of the 76th Heisman Trophy Saturday night at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. He joins Pat Sullivan (1971) and Bo Jackson (1985) as Auburn players to claim college football's most prestigious award.
Newton won in a landslide, finishing with 729 of a possible 886 first-place votes and 2,263 total points to out-distance runner-up Andrew Luck of Stanford (1,079 points), by 1,184 points. Oregon's LaMichael James was third with 916 points, while Boise State's Kellen Moore was fourth with 635 points.
"Who would have ever thought a person from College Park, Ga., would get an award with such prestige and tradition," said Newton. "I thank God every single day for giving me the ability to play the great game of football."
After thanking his parents as well as Auburn coaches and administrators during his acceptance speech, Newton also recognized the Tiger fans and his teammates.
"Thank you to the Auburn family," said Newton. "Thank you for all the support that you have given me during these trying times. I also want to give a special thanks to my teammates. Without those guys I wouldn't be here right now getting the recognition."
"There is no question that Cameron is highly deserving of the most prestigious honor in college football, and I am so proud of him," said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. "Not only has Cam been the best player in college football this year, he has also been an incredible leader for our football team. Winning the Heisman Trophy is also a tremendous honor for our entire football team, our coaches and our support staff. This is a special day for Cam and for Auburn University, and I feel blessed to be a small part of it."
"I know the entire Auburn family joins me in congratulating Cam for winning the most prestigious award in college football," said Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs. "In becoming Auburn's third Heisman Trophy winner, Cam has joined a truly special fraternity of football legends. We could not be more proud of Cam and the way that he has represented Auburn University. This award is also a tremendous tribute to our entire football program, and especially Coach Chizik, his staff and Cam's teammates. This is a great day in the history of Auburn football that we will all cherish for years to come."
Newton completed one of the most dominating seasons in college football history, compiling a nation-best 49 touchdowns while leading Auburn to a 13-0 record, its seventh Southeastern Conference title, a No. 1 national ranking and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.
Newton became one of just three players in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to accumulate at least 20 rushing and 20 passing touchdowns in a season, and became the first player in SEC history and one of nine players in FBS history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
Newton passed for an Auburn single-season record 28 touchdowns, rushed for an Auburn single-season record 20 scores and had a touchdown reception. He accounted for at least four touchdowns in eight different games this season, and his 20 rushing touchdowns is second most in a single season in SEC history.
Newton completed 165-of-246 passes (67.1 percent) for 2,589 yards and has an NCAA best pass efficiency rating of 188.16 that would be an NCAA single-season record. He became the first quarterback in school history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of the first five games of the season, and has also thrown for at least two scores in each of his last five games.
Newton leads the SEC and ranks 15th nationally (second among quarterbacks) in rushing, averaging 108.4 yards per game, and is the only player in the country with five games of at least 170 yards rushing. His 1,409 rushing yards is an SEC single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback and third most by any Auburn player in a single season in school history.
In SEC games, Newton was even better on the ground, averaging 135.5 yards per game with 15 rushing touchdowns - both league bests - during Auburn's eight regular-season league games. He became the first player in Auburn history to rush for 170 or more yards in four consecutive SEC games and the first Tiger to score three or more rushing touchdowns in three consecutive SEC games.
Newton ranks 10th nationally in total offense, averaging 307.5 yards per game, and needs just 183 total yards in his final game to break the SEC single-season record for total offense of 4,181 yards set by Tim Tebow in 2007.
"It says a lot about the character of both Cam and this football team that he won," said senior offensive tackle Lee Ziemba. "The perseverance needed to do what Cam has done this year has been unmatched by anyone I've been around."
"He is hands down a great football player, but more than that he is a great teammate," said senior center Ryan Pugh. "It is an honor to have played with him and help him win the Heisman."
Newton is the first player to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award in the same season since Wisconsin's Ron Dayne in 1999. Newton is the first quarterback to win those three awards plus the Davey O'Brien Award since Florida's Danny Wuerffel in 1996.
Auburn is now one of just nine schools to have at least three Heisman Trophy winners, joining Army, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC.
The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the United States as determined by 870 media representatives from six regions across the country, every living Heisman winner and one overall fan vote through a partnership with Nissan North America, Heisman's presenting sponsor.