Tebow Reacts to Mullen Departure

ORLANDO -- Wednesday was likely to be a terrific day for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, but things took an unexpected turn. He was named one of the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy as anticipated, but found out midway through the day that he would be losing offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Mullen to the head coaching spot at Mississippi State.

When Tebow met with the press at the College Football Awards that evening, it was clear Mullen was on his mind.

Tebow reacted to Mullen's departure, saying "It'll be sad, but I've enjoyed playing for him. We talked about it a little bit yesterday and I found out this morning."

He said he had no indication whether Mullen would still be a part of the Florida preparations for the BCS Championship matchup with Oklahoma.

Asked whether Mullen's departure might affect his own future intentions about returning for his senior year or entering the NFL Draft, Tebow said "I don't know. That's something I'll have to look at."

He also mentioned that he, Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes have discussed what they could do if they returned as a group next season.

Tebow and Mullen are extremely close, and he regards the news of his position coach leaving as bittersweet.

"I'm happy for him getting a head coaching job and having success in what he's done in the last nine years as a coach. It's someone who got a great job and I'm happpy for him, but I'm sad in a way that we're losing him."

Mullen's work ethic is the thing Tebow says has made the biggest impression on him. It's what he credits with getting Mullen the Mississippi State job as well as having the success developing quarterbacks over his career. He's confident Mullen will win in Starkville as well.

One thing Tebow was emphatic about was that Florida would not let this situation prevent them from playing well against Oklahoma.

"We'll be extremely focused. Coach Meyer won't let (a letdown) happen, and coach Mullen wouldn't want to let that happen. Just because he's leaving us doesn't mean he doesn't care about us."

Tebow is up for the Maxwell Award honoring the best player in college football. That will be handed out at around 9:20 Thursday evening during ESPN's annual two hour College Football Awards show.

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