Cam Newton wins Davey O'Brien Award

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A dapper Cam Newton strolled briskly down the red carpet, smiling and acknowledging adoring fans. He paused momentarily to sign a few autographs, then rushed off to begin collecting some of his postseason hardware.

The Auburn star won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback Thursday night, when he also walked away with the Maxwell Award as the best all-around player in the country. His next stop will be New York, where he's the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday.

"No guy would be able to do it without a supporting cast," he said to an audience that included his mother, Jackie, and his coach, Gene Chizik.

Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and orange tie, Newton was the next-to-last player introduced on the red carpet for The Home Depot College Football Awards Show at Disney World -- just ahead of Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, the Outland Trophy winner as the nation's best interior lineman.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound quarterback led top-ranked Auburn (13-0) to the Southeastern Conference championship and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series national title game against No. 2 Oregon on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.

"I just take pride in being the person that everybody looks to for leadership and guidance," said Newton, who answered questions during ESPN's telecast but wasn't available to reporters covering the event.

Newton led the SEC in rushing with 1,409 yards, while also completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns. In all, he accounted for 49 TDs, scoring one on a reception and running for 20 to join Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick as the only Football Bowl Subdivision players with at least 20 TDs both rushing and passing in a season.

"I think he's the best player in the country," said Oregon's LaMichael James, who won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back and also is a finalist for the Heisman.

The other Heisman finalists -- Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Boise State QB Kellen Moore -- also were up for the awards Newton swept Thursday night. Earlier in the day, Newton won the Walter Camp player of the year award as well.

On the eve of Thursday's awards show at Disney World, James was asked whether he'd vote for Newton for the Heisman.

"I'd vote for him twice," the running back said, smiling. "I don't care what happens off the field. To me, he's the best player in the country."

Like Newton, LSU junior cornerback Patrick Peterson was a double winner Thursday night, receiving the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back and the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player.

Oklahoma State had two winners, with Justin Blackmon getting the Biletnikoff Award as best receiver and kicker Dan Bailey taking the Lou Groza Award. Florida punter Chas Henry won the Ray Guy Award.

Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the nation's outstanding defensive player, while Auburn's Nick Fairley took home the Rotary Lombardi Award for the outstanding lineman.

D.J. Williams of Arkansas won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.

Other winners included: TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick (Rimington Trophy for outstanding center), Auburn assistant coach Gus Malzahn (Frank Broyles Award for top assistant coach) and Texas' Sam Acho (William V. Campbell Trophy for academic success).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.