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 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.
“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, he won the Walter Camp player of the year award as well.
Prior to the show, Newton said in an interview with ESPN that he “did no wrong” during the recruiting process that led to him signing with Auburn.
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.