AUBURN, Ala. -- The connection wasnt great, but Auburn quarterback Cam Newton made it clear on a Manning Award teleconference Wednesday when asked whether he thinks an asterisk ever will be next to his name in the record books.
No, sir, he said with conviction. I do not.
Newton, who led Auburn to the national championship despite an NCAA investigation into his recruitment, added another trophy to his already impressive haul, winning the Manning Award, given after the bowl games to the nations top quarterback.
Newton previously won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Davey OBrien Award, in addition to being named player of the year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Associated Press..
But questions Wednesday werent about his accomplishments as much as whats coming up for the junior quarterback, who declared for the NFL draft last week.
One topic was what he hopes his legacy will be.
My legacy at Auburn or I hope the impact Ive put on the NCAA is that heres a young man that was very resilient and left it all on the field, he said. I really wanted to come out and try to be the best. I play football to try to be the best, and thats what I was striving to be this whole season.
Newton faced public scrutiny after allegations of impropriety emerged about his recruitment. The NCAA ruled Newtons father, Cecil, solicited money from Mississippi State but that Cam had no knowledge. Cam was ruled ineligible for one day in a procedural manner before being reinstated with no further penalty.
He said the external pressures werent too much.
The Bible says God wont put too much on a person that that person can bear, Newton said. And, obviously this season, I have been tested not only on the field but off the field.
I think for me to play as well as I did, there are a lot of things that come into play: my supporting cast off the field, my family, just keeping my head clear throughout this trying time, and my teammates and obviously my coaches.
Newton said he has been working out in the mornings and meeting with agents and marketing groups in the evenings. He hopes to have an agent picked this week.
He said the back injury he suffered in the BCS championship game against Oregon is not a problem.
Im going throughout my workouts every single day, and I feel great, Newton said. I feel like Im continually trying to get better. By the time I have to perform in front of people, Ill be in tip-top shape.
Newton ran for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns and threw for 2,854 yards and 30 scores this season. Although he didnt produce his usual performance in the BCS title game, Newton still threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 64 rushing yards in the Tigers 22-19 win over the Ducks.
Im not sure if weve ever seen a player put up numbers like Cam Newton did this year, said former Mississippi quarterback Archie Manning, one of the awards namesakes. Its amazing for a guy to account for over 50 touchdowns in a career, let alone one season.