Little Surprise Tebow Takes Heisman

Favored to win top trophy, Tebow hoists Heisman, broken hand and all

Dec. 8, 2007

By Adam Caparell



Adam is's football editor and national football writer.
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NEW YORK - Tim Tebow picked up the Heisman Trophy, broken right hand in a Gator-blue cast and all, and that just may have been the only suspense of the evening.


For some it seemed like a mere formality that Florida's record-breaking quarterback would win the 73rd Heisman Trophy and they were right.

Only Tebow did something no other Heisman winner has ever done. He became the first sophomore in history to win the Heisman, beating out Arkansas' Darren McFadden, his only true competition in the race for the most prestigious award in college football.




"I'm just overwhelmed, thankful and honored," Tebow said.


But the race between the SEC's two top offensive players was pretty close. Maybe closer than some thought they'd see.


Tebow finished 254 points ahead of McFadden, who received the second most first place voters for a runner-up.


But Tebow's stats - 51 total touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback to rush for 20 touchdowns and throw for 20 touchdowns - carried him to history.


"You're known forever as a Heisman Trophy winner and that's special," Tebow said. "I'm kind of at a loss for words."


But his coach, Urban Meyer, who made the trip up from Florida, certainly wasn't.


Joining Tebow at the podium six minutes through his post-presentation speech, Meyer extolled the virtues of Tebow and relieved the angst-inducing day that was Signing Day two years ago.


Tebow was one of the most highly sought after recruits in the country. Everyone wanted the record-breaking Florida high school quarterback and he had narrowed down his decision to either Alabama or Florida. But Meyer and the Gators staff had to sweat out his final decision.


"Greg Mattison (the Florida assistant in charge of recruiting Tebow) made a comment to me after seeing a recruit that if we don't get him it'll send our program back 10-15 years," Meyer recalled. "I said, `it will not. Let him go to Alabama. We'll be alright.' And I looked at him and he said, `no we won't. We need to get Tim Tebow.'


"I remember that day like yesterday."


Meyer had recruited Tebow hard, sending him plenty of text messages - back when the NCAA allowed them - and one in particular talked about Tebow's future as a national champion and Heisman Trophy winner. Little did they know he would have both before his junior campaign.


And now he'll be the overwhelming favorite to win the award again when his junior season finally rolls around. He'll be looking to become just the second two-time winner of the trophy. But right now, that's too far ahead for Tebow to think about.


"I've got to get ready for Michigan," Tebow said.


After all, the Capital One Bowl is only 22 days away and he's got 364 days before the 2008 Heisman Trophy presentation. And before that matchup with Michigan he needs to get the cast off his right hand.


By Saturday evening, three people had finally signed the cast: McFadden and the other two Heisman finalists, Colt Brennan and Chase Daniel. The 20-year old kid they call Superman around Gainesville had an air of invincibility around him with the bum hand the past week.  


But Tebow seemingly had no problems holding up the heavy trophy, just like he's had no problem carrying the Florida offense all 12 games this season and absorbing the pounding he's taken this year, running and throwing his way to college football immortality quicker than anyone.