One-of-a-kind Tebow Becomes First Sophomore to Win Heisman
Dec 8, 11:05 PM (ET)
By RALPH D. RUSSO
In rapid fire,
"I am fortunate, fortunate for a lot of things," Tebow said. "God truly blessed me and this just adds on. It's an honor. I'm so happy to be here."
Since 1935, when Jay Berwanger of
"It's surreal a little bit," he said. "It's just overwhelming."
He beat out
"I think it's awesome you're known forever as a Heisman Trophy winner," Tebow said.
A year after Tebow helped
Tebow had both his parents and all four siblings with him in
"It was cool to have them all there," Tebow said. "I haven't had a chance to hug them all yet but I am looking forward to that."
In an unpredictable college football season, the Heisman race was as unsettled as the national title chase. Tebow emerged as the front-runner even though
Six of the last seven Heisman winners picked up their bronze statues on the way to playing in the national championship game. Tebow won't get that chance this season, but Heisman voters didn't hold
McFadden slumped in October before finishing with a huge November, capping his season with a spectacular performance - 206 yards rushing, three touchdowns and a TD pass - in the Razorbacks' 50-48 triple-overtime win over No. 1 LSU. It seems doubtful the junior with sprinter's speed will return to
"I'm just proud to be here again," McFadden said.
Brennan and Daniel each passed for over 4,000 yards and led their teams to breakout seasons.
But no player was more important to his team than Tebow.
The closest he came to a bad game came in a 28-24 loss at LSU, when he completed 12 of 26 passes for 158 yards, throwing for two scores and running for another. He finished with a school-record 3,970 yards of total offense and accounted for 51 touchdowns.
Simply put, he's the perfect quarterback for coach Urban Meyer's spread-option offense.
"I've heard the word system. I've got news, that's got nothing to do with Heisman trophies and great offenses," Meyer said. "Tim Tebow can run whatever offense he needs to run."
Tebowisms have become all the rage with Gators fans on the Internet. A sampling: Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas. Tim Tebow has counted to infinity ... twice. Tim Tebow ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.
And if joining Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel as the only Florida players to win the Heisman Trophy wasn't enough to make Tebow the most popular man in Gainesville, there's one more reason for Gators fans to be excited: the promise of two more years of Tebow, who has said he has no plans to leave school after his junior season.
Tebow idolized Wuerffel, and the former Gator was the first Heisman winner the new member of the club hugged when he went to accept the trophy.
"That was special," Tebow said. "He was a big role model for me growing up."
The legend of Tebow started at
Homeschooled by missionary parents who run an orphanage in the
Tebow has worked and preached at his parents' orphanage since he was 15. He regularly speaks at schools and delivered his message of faith at a prison in
"Tim Tebow is the real American hero," said Tebow's high school football coach, Craig Howard. "He's the real deal."
Tebow arrived in
In a part-time role as a complement to Chris Leak, Tebow played with a fiery passion. He bowled over defenders and bounced around the field, fists pumping and arms waving.
He ran for 469 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman, throwing only enough to take advantage of defenses stacked to stop him from running.
This season, the Gators became Tebow's team and at times he was a one-man offense.
He completed 68 percent of his attempts for 3,132 yards and 29 touchdowns and continued to run with reckless abandon, even while playing the second half of the season with a very sore shoulder.
Compensating for the Gators' lack of a reliable tailback, Tebow led
Add winning the Heisman as a sophomore, and Tebow is truly one of a kind.