Tebow is first 3-time finalist for top honor

NEW YORK --- Tim Tebow added another Heisman first to his long list of accomplishments just by being selected a finalist for this year's trophy.


Tebow became the first player to be invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation ceremony three times when the Florida quarterback -- along with Colt McCoy, Mark Ingram, Toby Gerhart and Ndamukong Suh -- was named a finalist Monday for college football's most prestigious player of the year award.

"Having the chance to go back to New York means a lot to me," Tebow said in statement. "It is a special honor, but it wouldn't be possible for me to have this opportunity without my teammates and coaches."

The Heisman will be awarded Saturday in Manhattan. The ceremony has been televised since 1981, and since 1982 at least three players have been invited to attend.

The last time as many as five players were invited to New York was 2004, when Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart won the award.

Tebow, who was the first sophomore to win the Heisman in 2007, is trying to become the second two-time winner, joining Ohio State's Archie Griffin. Tebow finished third in the voting last year, while getting the most first-place votes.

He's the first player to finish in the top five of the Heisman balloting three times since Georgia tailback Herschel Walker did it in the early 1980s.

Tebow and McCoy entered this season as heavy Heisman favorites. McCoy was the runner-up last season to Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and has led No. 2 Texas to the BCS national championship game this season.

Ingram has rushed for 1,542 yards and scored 15 touchdowns for No. 1 Alabama.

Stanford's Gerhart has run for more yards (1,736) and scored more touchdowns (26) than any player in the nation.

Nebraska's Suh had 4 1/2 sacks in an attention-grabbing performance against Texas in the Big 12 title game. He is the first defensive player to be a finalist since 1997, when Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson became the first full-time defensive player to win the Heisman.

Suh picked up his first award of the season Monday night, winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defensive player.

Suh beat out TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes, Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody, Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer and Tennessee safety Eric Berry for the Nagurski, awarded by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.


Clemson running back C.J. Spiller had been mentioned in Heisman conversations throughout the season but was not chosen as a finalist. The senior racked up 2,508 all-purpose yards, includ-ing 1,145 on the ground, and scored 20 touch-downs.


School: Nebraska

POSITION: Defensive tackle


YEAR: Senior

BIG GAME: 12 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks vs. Texas in Big 12 title game Dec. 4

CASE FOR: Dominant force who's recorded 82 tackles and 12 sacks this year

CASE AGAINST: Only one person who has played primarily defense, cornerback Charles Woodson, has won the Heisman


School: Florida

POSITION: Quarterback


YEAR: Senior

BIG GAME: Posted 5 TDs and 311 total yards against Florida State on Nov. 28

CASE FOR: Has 31 total TDs and almost 3,300 yards of total offense

CASE AGAINST: Numbers pale in comparison to his statistics in 2007, when he won the Heisman


School: Texas

POSITION: Quarterback


YEAR: Senior

BIG GAME: Threw for 396 yards and 4 TDs against Kansas on Nov. 21

CASE FOR: Passed for 3,512 yards and 27 TDs for undefeated Longhorns

CASE AGAINST: Numbers are down from last season, and he threw three picks in Big 12 title game against Nebraska


School: Alabama

POSITION: Running back


YEAR: Sophomore

BIG GAME: Rushed for 246 yards and a touchdown against South Carolina on Oct. 17

CASE FOR: Has eight 100-yard rushing games, 1,542 rushing yards and 15 TDs for unbeaten Crimson Tide

CASE AGAINST: Rushed for 80 yards combined against Arkansas and Auburn


School: Stanford

POSITION: Running back


YEAR: Senior

BIG GAME: Rushed for 178 yards and 3 TDs against Southern California on Nov. 14

CASE FOR: Rushed for 1,736 yards and 26 TDs

CASE AGAINST: Failed to crack the 100-yard rushing mark in two of Stanford's four losses

Sources: espn.com, heisman.com



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