Auburn Greats, Chizik Talk Cam And Heisman

Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night and Tiger greats Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan as well as coach Gene Chizik talk about his talents.

New York City, N.Y.--On Saturday night Auburn junior quarterback Cameron Newton became the third Tiger to win the award in its 76th year of presenting it to the outstanding college football player in the nation. He joined Pat Sullivan in 1971 and Bo Jackson in 1985 as Auburn's winners and Sullivan said for him Newton's play displays everything a Heisman winner should bring to the table.

"I don't know that I've seen a quarterback really do more things than he's done," Sullivan said. "Obviously you've got to give coach (Gus) Malzahn and Gene (Chizik) and the guys credit, his teammates. But I think the thing that is very evident about Cam is when he steps on the field, he raises the level of the other players on the team.

"You can see that they've bought into the leadership. And I think the way he's handled himself, just what little I've seen, he's done a remarkable job of being poised and I think he's certainly earned his teammates' and his coaches' respect."

Jackson and Newton share a moment at halftime of the SEC title game win over South Carolina.

That's something Newton displayed throughout the season as the Tigers completed a perfect 13-0 regular season with a huge win over South Carolina in the SEC title game. In a 56-17 win in the Georgia Dome Newton had a day to remember with six total touchdowns and 408 yards of offense. It was just one in several performances where Newton took over a game to help his team to victory. Chizik said having a player that can do that when the game is on the line is one of the many things about Newton that makes him great.

"It's very impressive, there's no doubt about it," Chizik said of having to answer the bell each time out the last month. "When you look at guys that are different than most in college football it's usually guys that in pressure situations, no matter what's swirling out there or what the circumstances are, in big games with a lot riding on the line they deliver. If you just go back through the test of time, the great players that have gotten to this point are guys that in those moments deliver. I don't think there's any question Cam has done that every week."

Newton was at his best late in close games when the Tigers needed to make plays to either win the game or hold onto the ball and run out the clock. Those are traits that Sullivan said as a former quarterback makes him stand up and take notice.

"I'll talk about what I just saw football-wise and you go back to the several games that I was able to see on the television," Sullivan said. "As the game went on, just like Michael Jordan in basketball, any of the really good ones, they wanted the ball and obviously Cam wanted it and he produced. And I also think that his teammates rallied around him and that's special."

That leadership is something that Jackson said was very evident to him the first time he saw the 6-6, 250 quarterback on the field. Back for the 25th anniversary of his win the star running back said Newton has all of the qualities players want in a teammate.

"I've only known Cam since the start of the season," Jackson said. "I met the young man one day at practice and I noticed how he has leadership qualities. He's a courageous young man. He's the type of guy I would want on my team. He's the type of guy that anyone would have on their team."

Auburn will now attempt to add another trophy to the case on Jan. 10 when the Tigers take on Oregon in the BCS Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz. Without a title since 1957 despite several worthy teams over the years, Chizik said Saturday night showed just how great the Auburn program is. Now he's hoping to take it even higher.

"If you have three Heisman winners in your football program over the years then that's probably enough said," Chizik said. "That pretty much tells the story of greatness over not just recent times but dating back many years. I think it tells the story of the great history of a great program."

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