By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
New York City — Cam Newton has been named the best college football player.
Newton, who has energized college football this year, was named the winner of the 76th Heisman Memorial Trophy last night at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. Newton hugged his mother, who was in attendance, after winning the award.
“I don’t even know where to start right now,” said Newton. “I thank God for putting me in this situation. I thank my parents, my coaching staff, and my teammates for the excellent support. I would also like to thank the Auburn family and the fans. Words can’t express how much gratitude I’m feeling right now.”
N. Richard Kalikow, the speaker of the Heisman Trophy Trust, announced Newton as the winner of the Heisman live on national television on ESPN’s annual coverage of the event. Kalikow announces the event every year. It is also the second straight year that a college football player has won the award from Alabama, as Mark Ingram won last year.
“Outside of the rivalry we have with each other, it’s refreshing to embrace each other (Newton and Ingram),” said Newton. “It’s very special to both win this award.”
While Newton was able to bask in his famous moment, he was still able to make a wish come true for a very sick Make-A-Wish child.
The Foundation’s Wish Kid Alan Casey was able to announce the winner of the Heisman trophy to the media. Casey, who has Burkitt’s lymphoma, had a wish to attend the Heisman ceremony and announce the winner to the media.
Newton has become the third Auburn Tiger to win the award in the award’s history. Twenty-five-years prior to Newton’s victory, Vincent “Bo” Jackson won the award in 1985. He was also in attendance to show support to Newton
“Bo is a special person to have here,” said Newton. “Not only (last night), but this season around me. He’s been around the program and he’s been showing a lot of support. He’s been happy for me and for this team.”
Prior to Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan won the award in 1971. He was the first Auburn Tiger to win the award. Also, Newton becomes the 31st quarterback to receive the award.
Ballots were mailed to 870 media personnel across the nation, plus 55 previous Heisman winners, and one fan ballot for a total of 926 votes. Independent accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, was selected to receive the ballots and tabulate them. Once the votes were all accounted for, Newton ran away with the award.
He took home 729 first-place votes in his way to 2,263 total points. Newton’s nearest competitor was Stanford’s Andrew Luck, who had 78 first-place votes and 1,079 total points. The point system is reached after tallying three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one for a third-place vote.
It is the second straight year that a Stanford Cardinal was the runner-up for the Heisman. Just last year, Toby Gerhart finished second to Heisman winner Mark Ingram. Oregon’s LaMichael James came in third-place with 22 first-place votes and 916 total points. And to round out the candidates, Boise State’s Kellen Moore finished fourth after receiving 40 first-place votes and 635 points.
“I wanted to thank them for the last couple of days,” said Newton. “I had a blast just being around those guys. It’s been a pleasure to be around these guys, with what these guys have done. It’s an excellent opportunity to get to know other players around the country.”
Newton still has one more honor left in New York. He will be officially honored at the New York Marriott Marquis, where media were assembled, on Monday night. He will officially receive the award at the 76th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award Dinner.
Newton, who is from College Park, Georgia and a first-year starter at Auburn, has attempted 246 passes, completing only a 165 passes for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns. He has only thrown 6 interceptions throughout the season. The dual-threat quarterback also accounted for 242 rushes for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns.
As a rusher, he is accounting for 5.8 yards per carry. He is only the second player to account for 20 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in a season at the FBS level. The first player to accomplish this feat was legendary Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.
Tebow accomplished this feat during his Heisman campaign in the 2007 season. Also, Newton has the most touchdowns in a season in Auburn’s school history, as he’s accounted for 48 total touchdowns this season.
Newton has one college football game left this season. Newton and the Auburn Tigers, led by head coach Gene Chizik, will face fellow Heisman candidate, LaMichael James, and the Oregon Ducks, led by head coach Chip Kelly, for the National Championship. The Tostitos BCS National Championship Game is being played in Glendale, Arizona on January 10th, 2011 at 8 pm on ESPN.
“I’m excited for the game,” said Newton. “I’m looking forward to embrace the whole process. I’m excited about playing for the National Championship. We have the chance to do something great at Auburn.”
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