NEW YORK – Cam Newton and the other finalists for the Heisman Trophy strolled into the room together, posed for a couple of photos with the big bronze statue, then spread out to separate tables to speak with reporters.
Andrew Luck, LaMichael James and Kellen Moore looked a little lonely.
The Auburn quarterback certainly draws a crowd these days.
Newton sat back in a leather desk chair, frequently flashed a big grin and casually answered questions from about a dozen reporters for 14 minutes Friday, the day before he’s expected to win the Heisman.
Newton said he was not disappointed in his father, even though the NCAA believes Cecil Newton tried to get Mississippi State to pay him in exchange for his son playing there. The star QB was disappointed that his dad decided not to attend the Heisman ceremony tonight.
Newton has stayed an overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman, even though he played much of the season’s final month with a scandal developing around him.
The week before the Southeastern Conference championship the NCAA announced that Cecil Newton tried to pull off a play-for-pay scheme with Mississippi State, but there was no evidence that his son or Auburn knew about it. The NCAA decided Cam Newton would be allowed to play, but his father’s access to Auburn athletics would be limited.
On the field, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound junior has been the most dominant player in college football of 2010, accounting for 49 touchdowns while guiding the top-ranked Tigers (13-0) to a spot in the BCS national title game. Auburn will play No. 2 Oregon and James on Jan. 10.
James has said he’d vote for Newton to win the award and Moore, the Boise State quarterback, said the same on Friday.
Chris Huston, who polls a sampling of Heisman voters throughout the season and post the results at www.heismanpundit.com, predicts a landslide victory for Newton, though the scandal probably will keep him from breaking any records.
O.J. Simpson of Southern California has the record for largest margin of victory in the Heisman voting. He beat Purdue’s Leroy Keyes by 1,750 points in 1968.