AU's Newton named Heisman finalist

AUBURN, Ala. - It's official: Auburn junior quarterback Cam Newton has been named one of four finalists for the prestigious Heisman Trophy, announced the Heisman Trust on Monday. Newton is the first Auburn Heisman finalist since Bo Jackson, who won the coveted award in 1985.

The 2010 Heisman winner will be announced on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. CT at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square in New York City. The ceremony will be televised live on ESPN.

Joining Newton as finalists are running back LaMichael James of Oregon, quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford and quarterback Kellen Moore of Boise State.

Auburn has had two Heisman Trophy winners in school history, in Bo Jackson and quarterback Pat Sullivan, who was the 1971 winner.

"I'm very honored and blessed to be named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy with some other outstanding players," Newton said. "Like I've said, this is not an individual honor, but a team honor. I wouldn't be in this position without my great teammates, coaches and the Auburn family.  Since I was a young boy, playing the game of football has been a pure joy and this season has been a very special one for my teammates and for me. I know as a team we're excited to get back on the field on January 10 against a great Oregon team."

Newton has accounted for 49 touchdowns this season, which ranks second in SEC history, setting Auburn single-season records for passing touchdowns (28) and rushing touchdowns (20) while also catching a TD pass. He has accounted for at least four touchdowns in eight different games this season, including six in the SEC Championship game, while setting the Auburn single-season scoring record with 126 points.

During the SEC Championship game, Newton also became just the third player in FBS history to total 20 rushing touchdowns and 20 passing touchdowns in a single season.

Newton ranks 15th nationally in rushing (108.4) and has set an SEC record for yards rushing by a quarterback with 1,409. He also owns the nation's top passing efficiency mark of 188.16. A finalist for the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards, Newton is the first player in SEC history to total 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season and currently holds the Auburn record for single-season total offense with 3,998 yards.

The College Park, Ga., native has led Auburn to an SEC Championship and a 13-0 record, including an perfect 8-0 mark in the SEC. The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the nation in the latest BCS standings and will play No. 2 Oregon on Monday, Jan. 10 in the Tostitos BCS National Championship game.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn University Athletics