A dapper Cam Newton strolled briskly down the red carpet in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., smiling and acknowledging fans. He paused to sign a few autographs, then rushed off to begin collecting 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 is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday.
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.
Newton led the Southeastern Conference in rushing with 1,409 yards, while also completing 67.1% of his passes for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns.
"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.
Louisiana State 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, 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.
UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers was named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He is one of five Pacific 10 Conference players named to the first and second teams. Oregon's James was named to the first team. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and center Chase Beeler and Oregon defensive back Cliff Harris were named to the second team. Ayers, a junior, had 68 tackles, two fumble recoveries, four sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.