It’s been a really, really good day for Cam Newton.
First, and most importantly, the Auburn quarterback has — for now — been cleared by the NCAA and has retained his eligibility. Additionally, Newton was named as a finalist for one of the most prestigious awards in the country.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation announced Wednesday afternoon that Newton, Oregon running back LaMichael James and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck have been selected as finalists for their 2010 Player of the Year Award.
The 2010 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by Div. 1-A head coaches and sports information directors, will be presented live on Thursday, December 9, during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter.
Former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, now playing in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, took home the award the previous two years.
Here are the details the press release gave on each player:
LaMICHAEL JAMES – OREGON – Sophomore – Running Back – James has led the second-ranked Ducks to a 12-0 record entering its regular-season finale against Oregon State. Leads the nation with a 154.8 rushing average. Has rushed for 1,548 yards and 19 touchdowns. Eight 100-yard rushing efforts, including three for 200+ yards. Rushed for a season-high 257 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Stanford on October 2 and earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors. Has also caught 13 passes for 169 yards and scored one touchdown.
ANDREW LUCK – STANFORD – Redshirt Sophomore – Quarterback – Luck has led the Cardinal to an 11-1 record and #4 ranking in the latest BCS standings. Has passed for 3,051 yards (245-of-349) and 28 touchdowns. Has also rushed for 438 yards and three touchdowns. Has thrown for three or more touchdowns in a game five times, including a season-high four three times – most recently in a win over Oregon State on November 27.
CAM NEWTON – AUBURN – Junior – Quarterback – Newton has led the top-ranked Tigers (12-0) to a berth in Saturday’s Southeastern Conference championship game. Ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency (185.6). Has passed for 2,254 yards (148-of-218) and 24 touchdowns. Has rushed for 1,336 yards and 18 touchdowns and ranks 11th in the nation in rushing yards per game (111.3). Newton is the first player in SEC history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.