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2007 Heisman winner

Published: June 24 2008

2007 Heisman winner

Tim Tebow

Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences

Florida Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow made history on Dec. 8, 2007, by becoming the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most coveted award.

A majority of the 925 members of the media and former Heisman winners voted for Tebow, 20, a 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound sophomore who has wowed football fans with his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback who can run and pass.

The announcement was made at the Nokia Theater in New York. The award has been given annually since 1935.

Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville and played quarterback for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, is the third quarterback for the Florida Gators to win the Heisman. The others were Danny Wuerffel, who won it in 1996, and Steve Spurrier, in 1966.

Tebow’s award makes UF the only school in the SEC to have three Heisman winners and one of eight schools nationally to have three winners of the prestigious award. UF also is one of only two schools in the nation with three quarterbacks to win the Heisman. Florida also joins the University of Southern California as the only schools to have multiple winners since 1996. Tebow became the Gators’ starting quarterback in the 2007 season and quickly started breaking records.

Among other milestones, he rushed for a touchdown against Florida Atlantic to break the Southeastern Conference all-time touchdown rushing record in a single season. And he is the first NCAA player to rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season.

But Tebow’s talents extend well beyond the field. A major in family, youth and community sciences with a 3.77 grade point average, Tebow was selected in November to the 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football Team.

A first-team recipient, Tebow is the first Gator football player to garner an Academic All-American nod since Terry Jackson was chosen to the second team in 1998. Tebow became the first Florida player named to the first team since Danny Wuerffel in 1996. Tebow also is only the second sophomore football player in school history to earn first-team Academic All-America honors. Carlos Alvarez was a first-team Academic All-American in 1969. In addition, he is only the fourth sophomore in UF history to earn first-team Academic All-American honors. He joins Alvarez, Stephanie Nickitas (Women’s Tennis in 1997) and Megan Neyer (Diving in 1983).

Tebow is the fifth and youngest child of parents Bob and Pam Tebow, both University of Florida alumni. Home-schooled, he was born in the Philippines, where his parents were missionaries, and grew up in Jacksonville. He spent three summers doing missionary work himself before attending Florida.

He says his list of priorities, in descending order of importance, is faith, family, academics and football.