Cam Newton Accepts 2011 Manning Award park
Cameron Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner from the national champion Auburn Tigers and the No. 1 pick in the recent NFL Draft, visited New Orleans on Friday to officially accept the 2010-11 Manning Award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the top quarterback in the nation. The Manning Award, now in its seventh year, was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting. The award is voted on by a panel of local and national media, as well as each of the Mannings.
Newton, who was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the top pick in the NFL Draft, is the third Southeastern Conference quarterback to collect the honor, joining LSU's JaMarcus Russell (2006-07) and Florida's Tim Tebow (2008-09).
"I'm not sure if we've ever seen a player put up numbers like Cam Newton did this year," said Archie Manning. "It's amazing for a guy to account for over 50 touchdowns in a career, let alone one season, and to also lead his team to the SEC Championship and the BCS Championship, it's no surprise that our voting panel selected Cam as this year's winner.
"I want to give credit to all 10 of our finalists; it's been a great year for quarterbacks and we're very excited that six of them are scheduled to return next year."
The returning finalists are this year's runner-up Andrew Luck (Stanford), as well as Kellen Moore (Boise State), Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State), Denard Robinson (Michigan), Darron Thomas (Oregon) and Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State). The other finalists were Andy Dalton (TCU), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) and Ryan Mallett (Arkansas). Seven of the finalists were victorious in their bowl games while two of the losses came to other Manning Award finalists.
The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, Newton led Auburn to a perfect 13-0 regular season, including a convincing victory over South Carolina in the SEC Championship game. In the BCS National Championship Game, played on Jan. 9, Newton battled a bad back, but still finished with 265 passing yards and two touchdowns to go with 64 rushing yards in a thrilling 22-19 victory over previously undefeated Oregon. It was Auburn's first national championship since 1957.
For the season, the College Park, Ga., product rushed for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns while passing for 2,854 yards and 30 scores. He also caught one touchdown pass to account for a school season record 51 touchdowns. The junior also set Auburn single-season records for rushing touchdowns, passing touchdowns, total offense and rushing yards by a quarterback.
In addition to winning the Manning Award and the Heisman Trophy, Newton was selected as the Walter Camp and Associated Press National Player of the Year and won the Maxwell Award as the top player in the nation. He also was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in rushing yards per game (105.2), pass efficiency (182.0, second in the nation) and total offense (309.1).
"The Allstate Sugar Bowl has had the distinct privilege to recognize a line of great quarterbacks with this award, and we had 10 outstanding finalists again this year," said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. "By leading his team to a perfect season and the BCS National Championship, Cameron Newton has distinguished himself from the other tremendous quarterbacks in the nation."
Newton is the seventh winner of the Manning Award, which began following the 2004 regular season. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. In 2007, LSU's Russell earned the award followed by Boston College's Matt Ryan in 2008 and Tebow in 2009. Last year, Colt McCoy from Texas was the honoree. All six previous winners were selected in the NFL Draft, including four that went within the top 10 picks.