Nick Saban Voted For Tim Tebow
Many thought the search would end when Alabama Coach Nick Saban took the stage at the Wynfrey Hotel Thursday morning.
Saban didn't hesitate when the question came in the "print" section of the media event.
"I voted for Tim Tebow," Saban said. "I think he's one of the most fantastic leaders I've ever seen. He certainly played a fantastic game against us in the SEC Championship Game last year. I think he's one of the best players in this league."
Through seven coaches on Thursday, Tebow had all seven votes. The eighth coach to come before the media Thursday did not vote for Tebow, but that's because Florida Coach Urban Meyer was not allowed to vote for his own player in the SEC Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC team.
Provided all the coaches are telling the truth, the "guilty" coach must be on Friday's line-up. That's Auburn Coach Gene Chizik, South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier, LSU Coach Les Myles or Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin.
Saban made it clear that he didn't think a coach should have to reveal his vote. He also said that anyone who voted for another man as All-SEC quarterback should not have to explain or apologize for that vote. (The second team quarterback on the coaches' team is Jevan Snead of Ole Miss.)
Tebow won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore and led Florida to the national championship in 2008. Along the way, he made the plays that lifted the Gators to an SEC Championship Game win over Alabama.
Saban was also asked about Tebow's future in the National Football League draft. Saban, who spend two years as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, said it would be difficult to make that prediction without the full body of work," referring to all available players, needs of NFL teams, etc.
But, Saban said, "I think Tim Tebow is an outstanding quarterback, an outstanding leader. He made some outstanding throws into good coverage in critical times in our game last year. He is a winner in every regard. And I think he will be a winner in the NFL."
Saban pointed out that NFL draft experts have a difficult time evaluating players who play in a college system that doesn't match the system in which they'll play in the NFL. "Florida does a great job with its offense, but it's different," Saban said. "That means for every position the NFL struggles to evaluate them. That's no disrespect to Tim Tebow. It's the same for the left tackle if he's always in a two-point stance and never in a three-point stance or a guy playing in a no-huddle offense."
Saban said one difficulty of teams playing the spread is similar to years ago when teams had to prepare for the wishbone, which few teams used. A team has to prepare for multiples that are not often seen and which are difficult for a scout team to emulate.
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