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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Clean sweep: Newton wins three national awards

AUBURN, Ala. — Cam Newton’s trip to Orlando, Fla., was well worth it.

The Auburn quarterback swept the three major national awards he was up for Thursday, winning the Walter Camp Award as the player of the year, the Davey O’Brien Award as the top quarterback and the Maxwell Award as the best all-around player.

“It brings a lot of warmth to my heart to receive something like this,” Newton said.

Up next for the quarterback is a trip this weekend to New York, where he’s expected to be the third Tiger to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Pat Sullivan (1971) and Bo Jackson (1985).

It would be a happy ending following a month of tumult after the NCAA ruled Newton’s father, Cecil, sought money from Mississippi State last year in exchange for his son’s signature on a letter of intent. The NCAA ruled Newton didn’t know about the scheme and reinstated his eligibility immediately.

Cecil was not in attendance at ESPN’s College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, but Newton's mother, Jackie, was.

Her message to Cam? “Be strong, represent and just keep going, doing your thing.”

Newton’s evening started off right when he received the Walter Camp National Player of the Year Award, beating out Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon running back LaMichael James. Sullivan and Jackson are the only other Auburn players to win the award.

In addition to Newton, Auburn left tackle Lee Ziemba and defensive tackle Nick Fairley were named first-team Walter Camp All-Americans. The top-ranked Tigers had the most selections on the first team, which consisted of 26 players.

The teams are selected by head coaches and sports information directors of all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

Next up was the Davey O’Brien. Newton beat out Luck and Boise State’s Kellen Moore.

The finale was the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s outstanding player. Newton again beat out Luck and Moore.

“Just a blessed individual,” said Newton, who was the first Auburn player to win either award. “No guy would be able to do it without a great supporting cast.”

Asked what message he had for his teammates, Newton said, “I just want to thank them. And I’ll whip up a big old batch of Cammy Cam Juice for them.”

Auburn was well-represented at the ceremony. Head coach Gene Chizik (Home Depot Coach of the Year), offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn (Broyles Award) and Fairley (Lombardi Award) were all in attendance and recognized for winning their respective awards.

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