VETTEL: There was no Doubt

Maybe you were a bit nervous waiting for the official announcement at 8:55pm Saturday evening. After all, it was obvious there was a groundswell of support for Arkansas running back Darren McFadden as the final announcement neared.

No matter how spectacular McFadden was – and he is an amazing talent – Tim Tebow had accomplished things that had never been done before and when you do that, you deserve the Heisman.

Tim Tebow is the third Gator to win the ultimate individual trophy in college sports which puts Florida up there with Notre Dame as the only schools to have three (or more) quarterbacks win the award. He takes a spot alongside Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel in Gator lore and probably claims a spot in the ring of honor somewhere down the line.

Balance, Competition the Keys

There were two things that separated Tebow from the other finalists (Chase Daniel, Colt Brennan and Darren McFadden) in this year's voting. Those two things were balance and competition.

Tebow gets credit for balance in terms of statistics where the Gator quarterback ran for more touchdowns than McFadden and combined for more touchdowns running and passing than Daniel and Brennan. He threw for 29 touchdowns and ran for another 22 creating a 20/20 combo that has never before been accomplished in major college football.

Competition was a key in putting Tebow ahead of the pack as well. Tebow faced a top ten schedule this season, which none of the other Heisman finalists did. In particular it stands out that Colt Brennan and Hawaii faced a scheduled ranked as the third weakest in the country.

Impact Will Be Significant

Tebow winning the Heisman Trophy will be a positive for both him and the Gators in a number of ways. For Tebow, it's obvious what being a Heisman Trophy winner can do for any athlete. For UF, it comes down to the prestige of continuing to build the reputation of a program. You may not think it's necessary considering the Gators have a pair of national titles, but it is important that UF remain on the top stage and if the team doesn't get it done, it's good that an individual does.

On a Personal Note

I've probably had more one on one conversations with Tim Tebow than anyone else outside the UAA. I have often described him as, "Danny Wuerffel with physical tools". This is an extremely special young man who has a great balance in his life and a great understanding of his importance in the grand scheme of things in Gainesville. I don't think there is a phony bone in his body, and I'm a skeptic by nature.

It was indeed a pleasure to cast my Heisman ballot for Tim Tebow, and I'm glad that he won a well-deserved honor.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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