Newton wins Heisman Trophy
The junior from College Park, Ga., was the 76th winner of the prestigious award, given annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football, after a dominant performance this season.
The 1,184-point difference was the 11th largest in the history of the award and Newton was voted first on 729 of 926 ballots cast, giving him 78.7 percent of the vote.
After hugging his mother Jackie Newton, the 21-year-old struggled to hold back the tears as he took to the stage to receive his award, although a shout from the crowd of "We love you Cam" brought a smile to his face.
After thanking God, Newton paid tribute to his parents, saying they "do a lot of things behind the scenes that go unnoticed."
"This is not an award that in my opinion has been won by my play this year. This is an award that was won when I came out your womb.
"Thank you for everything you did for me," he said as he acknowledged his mother, "and to my father I love you so much."
Newton's win was not without scandal after reports of his father, Cecil Newton, and various "runners" allegedly soliciting payment during the player's 2009 recruitment process dominated headlines and muddied his name.
Cecil Newton did not attend the ceremony, releasing a statement through his attorney earlier this week saying he wanted to avoid diverting attention away from his son's achievements.
"So that my son Cam Newton can receive all the honors and congratulations that he has worked so hard to accomplish and without distraction, I have decided not to be in attendance at the Heisman ceremony, as it will perhaps rob Cam and the event of a sacred moment," he said in the statement.
The NCAA ruled last week that Cecil Newton violated rules by shopping his son to Mississippi State alumnus Kenny Rogers, who accused Newton of seeking $100,000 to $180,000 in a pay-for-play scheme.
The NCAA upheld Cam Newton's eligibility despite the ruling after determining he had no knowledge of his father's attempted arrangements.
"I also I want to give a special thanks to my teammates," Newton said as he clutched his trophy. "Without those guys I wouldn’t be here getting this recognition.
"Who would’ve ever thought a person from College Park, Ga. would get an award with such prestige and tradition? I thank God every day for waking me up this morning and letting me play football."
Auburn head coach Gene Chizik called Newton a "phenomenal young man," according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
"He's different on the field and he's different off the field. He's a great kid," Chizik said.
"We get much joy and much satisfaction out of seeing our own get the benefits and see the fruits of his labor, which are many. It's very well deserved, no question about it.
"Everything he gets he's worked for and he deserves every bit of it.
"You have good ideas of what you'd love them to be," Chizik added. "But I can't say a year ago that I thought we'd be sitting here."
Newton joined Pat Sullivan (1971) and Bo Jackson (1985) as Auburn's only Heisman Trophy winners.