NEW YORK - Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy - as if there was any doubt.
Whether he gets to keep it is still to be determined.
Auburn's hulking quarterback brushed off an NCAA investigation as he did so many tacklers this season and captured college football's biggest individual award Saturday night in a landslide vote.
"Honestly, it's a dream come true for me, something every child has a dream that plays the sport of football, and I'm living testimony that anything is possible," Newton said.
Newton, the third player from Auburn to win the Heisman, received 729 first-place votes and outpointed runner-up Andrew Luck of Stanford by 1,184 points. Oregon running back LaMichael James was third, followed by Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, the other finalist.
Even Newton didn't look all that surprised when his name was announced. A wide smile spread across his face, and he dropped his head.
After exchanging hugs and handshakes with the other finalists, he and his mother, Jackie, shared a long embrace.
When he reached the podium, he had to steady himself.
"Oh my God," he whispered as he reached into his inside jacket pocket to pull out his speech. "Oh my God."
On the field and off, Newton has been the story of the college football season. He's carried the top-ranked Tigers to the Bowl Championship Series national championship game against No. 2 Oregon, running and passing over opponents who looked helpless trying to stop him. But his story is stained: Recently, the NCAA determined his father tried to peddle him to Mississippi State for cash.
Not even that ruling stopped Newton. The NCAA cleared him to play before the Southeastern Conference title game because it found no evidence that he or Auburn knew about Cecil Newton's pay-for-play scheme. It also suggested that it was still investigating. Cam Newton has denied any wrongdoing.
Cecil Newton did not attend the Heisman ceremony.
But all the uncertainty didn't keep voters from making Newton an overwhelming choice - he received the sixth-most first-place votes ever - though 105 voters chose not to list him among their three selections.