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 last night, when he also walked away with the Maxwell Award as the best all-around player. His next stop will be New York, where he's the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy tomorrow.
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.
The 6-6, 250-pound quarterback led top-ranked Auburn (13-0) to the Southeastern Conference championship and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series national title game against No. 2 Oregon on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.
Newton led the SEC in rushing with 1,409 yards, and completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns. In all, he accounted for 49 TDs, scoring one on a reception and running for 20 to join Tim Tebow as the only Football Bowl Subdivision players with at least 20 TDs both rushing and passing in a season.
"I think he's the best player in the country," said Oregon's La-Michael James, who won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back and also is a finalist for the Heisman.
Earlier, Newton won the Walter Camp player of the year award.
Like Newton, LSU junior cornerback Patrick Peterson was a double winner, 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: receiver Justin Blackmon getting the Biletnikoff Award and kicker Dan Bailey taking the Lou Groza Award.
* New Mexico coach Mike Locksley, coming off back-to-back 1-11 seasons, said offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey and offensive line coach Mike Degory won't be back next season.
* Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said Dave Wannstedt will be the acting coach when the Panthers face Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl next month.