*To absolutely no one’s surprise, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton announced that will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft after leading Auburn to a national championship and drawing nearly as much attention for a pay-for-play scandal as for his dynamic performances.

Auburn released a statement Thursday night about the quarterback’s decision following his lone year as a major college starter. Newton led the Tigers to their first national title since 1957 and a 14-0 season with a 22-19 victory over Oregon on Monday night.

“This decision was difficult for me and my family,” Newton said, adding that he made it after talking to coach Gene Chizik and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

“It’s been a blessing for me to be a part of something so great,” he said. “Any time you win games it’s a big deal, but for this school to win a BCS national championship, what a way to make people happy. Auburn is a special place that I can call home.”