Tebow Grabs Some Hardware

The main event of college football's award season won't come until Saturday, but Tim Tebow added some new hardware to his trophy case Thursday night at the College Football Awards in Orlando.

The sophomore knew going into Thursday night's ceremony that he had a chance at the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback and the Maxwell Award as college football's outstanding all around player and wound up winning both awards. He was also named as the quarterback for the Walter Camp All-America team.

Tebow was relaxed as he headed into the ceremony. After signing autographs for a number of enthusiastic well-wishers on the red carpet, he bantered with the media for a bit and eventually joined in on the interviewing fun himself. Tebow took the microphone and conducted an on camera Q&A with Oregon's quarterback Dennis Dixon for the Florida Athletic Association's camera person on the scene to record the proceedings. After four questions, Tebow and Dixon both laughed and then went into the Atlantic Dance Hall together.

The Davey O'Brien Award was the first one of the evening to be handed out. Presenter Jim McMahon called Tebow's name at 7:37, making him only the second sophomore to claim the award as the top quarterback in the country. He gave particular praise to Florida's quarterback coach Dan Mullen, who accompanied him to the event, calling him the best in the nation. Mullen returned the favor.

"I'm just so proud of him and all the work that he's done, and I'm just happy to be a part of it," Mullen said.

"It was a shock and I was excited and I'm thankful," Tebow said after winning the O'Brien Award.

He won the honor over Missouri's Chase Daniel and Oregon's Dixon.

Tebow's toughest competition for the Heisman is Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, and the junior did beat Tebow out for one honor at the show. The two-time Doak Walker Award winner given to the nation's best running back was also named the Walter Camp Player of the Year.

That award is voted on by college coaches and sports information directors. McFadden is optimistic about his shot at winning the Heisman Trophy this time after finishing second last season.

"This year, I feel like I've been around for the Heisman," he said. "Last year I came on late. I feel like I've put in the work this year and I'm right up there."

The Maxwell Award is the featured award at the annual event. Tebow was matched up against McFadden and Dixon for the honor. Presenter Tommy McDonald's intitial comment was "Wow! Tim! Awesome!" before he read Tebow's name. As is his tradition with the award winner, McDonald chest bumped Tebow.

"It's just a great award, and to win it over McFadden and Dixon, two great players, is a huge honor," said Tebow.

Winning the Maxwell might not necessarily be a great omen for Tebow's chances at the Heisman Trophy, as they have gone to different players each of the past seven seasons - Wisconsin's Ron Dayne in 1999 was the last to win them both. Brady Quinn was last year's surprise winner despite Troy Smith having a comfortable margin of victory for the Heisman. Tebow follows Danny Wuerffel as Florida's second Maxwell Award winner.

Next up for Tebow is his first ever visit to New York. He's excited about seeing the city at Christmas time and mentioned Ellis Island and Central Park as other must see spots on his list as he and his family make their way around. He's not as enthusiastic about buying a new suit. He wore his typical postgame suit to Thursday's ceremony, but his parents insist he wear something different to the Heisman presentation.

You can check out his latest look Saturday night beginning at 8:00 with a good chance of seeing him add a very distinctive accessory at around 8:50.

The Heath Cline Show airs daily from 11-1 on Gainesville's Star 99.5 FM

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