QB | Sophomore | University of Florida
Tebow capped an unprecedented season by becoming the first sophomore in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy. He joined Steve Spurrier (’66) and Danny Wuerffel (’96) as Gator Heisman winners.
The tough, physical Tebow rushed and passed for 51 touchdowns during the regular season, becoming the first of the great ‘spread’ quarterbacks to win the Heisman.
Tebow, the youngest of five children, was born on in Makati City in the Philippines, making him one of three Heisman winners to be born outside of the U.S. (the other two being Robert Griffin III and Frank Sinkwich).
His family later settled in Jacksonville, Fla., where Tebow attended Trinity Christian Academy, playing tight end for the football team. He later enrolled at Nease High, where he earned national recognition as a dual-threat quarterback. During his senior season he led Nease to a state title, earned All-State honors and was named Florida’s Mr. Football.
The highly-recruited Tebow chose Florida as his choice of college in 2006. He spent that fall as a key true freshman backup to Chris Leak as the Gators won the national title. He totaled 13 touchdowns running and passing and was the team’s second-leading rusher.
Tebow took over the starting quarterback job in 2007 and proceeded to record one of the finest seasons in NCAA history. He threw for 3,132 yards and 29 touchdowns, with just six interceptions, and rushed for 828 yards and 22 scores (the last figure an SEC record) as he won the Heisman solidly over Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. Along the way, he shattered a long-held Heisman streak that saw only juniors and seniors win the trophy.
But Tebow wasn’t finished with the Heisman. He flirted with history in the next two seasons, nearly joining Archie Griffen as the only two-time Heisman winner. As a junior in 2008, he led the nation in passing efficiency and finished a close third in the Heisman race despite garnering the most first-place votes. He led the Gators to another national title, too. He turned in another fine season in 2009 and returned to New York for a fifth-place Heisman finish.
At the end of his college career, Tebow held five NCAA, 14 SEC and 28 Florida statistical records. Among many mentions in the NCAA Division-I record book, Tebow is ranked second in career passing efficiency, third in career yards per attempt (9.33), eighth in career rushing touchdowns, and also owns the record for most consecutive games in which he both threw at least one touchdown pass and scored at least one rushing touchdown (14).
Tebow was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, the 25th pick overall, by the Denver Broncos. He played sparingly as a rookie but led Denver to a playoff win over defending Super Bowl champs Pittsburgh in year two. He later had stints with the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.