It's getting more and more evident that Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen are going to have to shield their star quarterback from the Heisman-hype over the next five weeks. With no clear-cut standout and parody across the nation, the Tim Tebow for Heisman talk is accelerating.
At least his head coaches have experience on the topic after Utah quarterback Alex Smith finished fourth in the voting for the coveted trophy back in 2004.
"In fact every quarterback we've coached in the last four years from Josh Harris to Alex Smith to Chris Leak and now Tim has been in that discussion," Meyer said. "So, we have had that discussion, but we have not had to do that with him. At the end of the game, he made a wrong read and that really bothered him. So we have to correct that read and forget about that other stuff."
Tebow is catching national attention. Florida's national television exposure continues for the Gators rivalry matchup with Georgia, and they'll most likely face South Carolina and Florida State in front of a national audience. That exposure is opening some eyes. Even on WFAN in New York, amidst talk of a Giants' five game winning streak and the Yankees' managerial search, the station's headline show "Mike and the Mad Dog" set aside time on Monday to discuss Tebow's Heisman chances.
The sophomore quarterback is blocking it all out.
"I'm not worried about stuff like that," Tebow said on Monday. "I am just worried about going out each week and playing as well and as hard as I can. I worry about stuff that I can control and how hard I play. The only reason I am asked questions like that is because I have great teammates around me. They do their job and make it easy for me to do mine."
When it comes to what Tebow means to the Gators, there may not be a more impactful player in the nation. Tebow loves hanging around his teammates and is playing a valuable role in recruiting as well.
"He's very impressive," Meyer said. "Obviously, they all want to meet him. He's very unselfish with his time. He wants to win and how do you win? You win with great players. He's as active as anybody. Brandon Siler was kind of my guy about two years ago and Tebow is obviously right there now. That would make a huge difference in where my child would go to school. Obviously, stability at that position and a warrior at that position has a direct impact on wins and losses."
And there may be no other Heisman candidate that impacts his team's wins and loses more than Tebow. Of 445 plays run this season, Tebow has been in on 299 of those plays (174 passes, 125 rushes). He's completing more than 66 percent of his passes and has thrown for 17 touchdowns. Of the Gators' 36 touchdowns, Tebow is responsible for 27 of them. Of the other Heisman hopefuls, only Kentucky's Andre Woodson has more touchdowns (26 passing, 3 rushing).
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski
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