Newton had tough decision for Heisman

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Did Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton vote with his heart or his head on his ballot for the Heisman Trophy?

He's not sharing.

"Absolutely not,'' Newton said Wednesday.

But it was a tough decision for the 2010 Heisman recipient, who won the award given to the nation's most outstanding college football player after leading Auburn to an undefeated season and the national championship.

Among the six finalists this year are Auburn's Tre Mason and two other players, Florida State's Jameis Winston and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, whom Newton considers friends.

He called Winston, the odds-on favorite, "a great guy.'' He said Mason's 304 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the SEC championship game "was ridiculous.'' And he meant that in a good way, following the comment with a bit of school loyalty.

"So War Eagle to that,'' Newton said.

He didn't really comment on Manziel, the reigning Heisman winner, for anything on the field, so you have to believe Newton's vote came down to Mason and Winston.

The winner will be announced on Saturday.

"With me knowing Jameis and me knowing Tre, it's going to kind of be hard to be talking to Johnny Football,'' Newton said. "It was a pretty hard pick.''