Tebow Gracious at Heisman Presentation

NEW YORK – Before Alabama's Mark Ingram became the second sophomore in history to win the Heisman Trophy, the first person to earn that distinction was right by his side. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow showed yet again how impactful he has been throughout his college career by helping Ingram settle down before Saturday's Heisman presentation.

It was exactly one week ago that Mark Ingram and the Alabama Crimson Tide broke Tim Tebow's heart, defeating the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game. The win ended Florida's shot at a second straight national championship and their chance at the school's first-ever perfect season.

But before Saturday's Heisman special on ESPN, Tebow put all that behind him, and after seeing how nervous Heisman-hopeful Ingram was before the show, he helped Ingram get control of his emotions.

"We hung out a lot this week," Tebow said after the award presentation. "I was real proud of him. I had a feeling he might win this so I had a talk with him. I offered him some words of encouragement. He was pretty nervous and started doing his pregame routine going back and forth. I'm real glad he won."

Tebow said he was pretty sure he wasn't going to become the second player in history to win two Hesiman Trophies, so instead of trying to settle his own nerves, he pulled Ingram aside and the two said a prayer together. Tebow's faith and willingness to help others has been well documented, and on Saturday night, he reached out to help someone who he competed so fiercely against seven days ago.

"It was very special [to be here for a third straight time]," Tebow said. "A lot of nerves being there with players that I have great respect for."

"[Ingram will] always be known as the 75th Heisman Trophy winner," Tebow said. "No matter where he goes, he'll be introduced as a Heisman winner."

Tebow should know, carrying the title of Heisman winner for the last two years. And as a prior winner, Tebow had a chance, for the second straight year, to cast a vote for the elite award. But he wasn't willing to share his ballot.

"I'm not going to answer that," Tebow said. "It's just going to create controversy and then I'll keep getting asked about it."

Tebow said with the way Florida's season ended he wasn't surprised that he finished fifth in the voting. And with just one more chance to wear the Orange and Blue when the Gators face Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, Tebow has begun thinking about life after Gator football.

"I look forward to the challenges," Tebow said. "I look forward to starting something new and trying to play in the NFL and trying to play quarterback in the NFL. I want to try and compete with the best in the world and see what I can do."

As the historic quarterback's historic career comes to a close, Tebow talked about how he wants his college career to be remembered.

"It's nice that the people mention the trophies and the championships," he said. "But more importantly, I want people to remember me as someone who cared about my teammates and tried to help other people. If they say that about me 20 years ago, I'll be happy."

Tebow finished fifth in this year's balloting, and finished fifth in five of the six voting regions. He finished sixth in the Mid-Atlantic with Clemson's C.J. Spiller finishing fifth in the region.

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