Tebow among 5 Heisman finalists

BY foxsports • December 8, 2009


Associated Press

December 7, 2009 

New York -  Tim Tebow added another
Heisman first to his long list of accomplishments just by being selected a
finalist for this year's trophy.

Tebow became the first player to be invited to the Heisman
Trophy presentation ceremony three times when the Florida quarterback -- along
with Colt McCoy, Mark Ingram, Toby Gerhart and Ndamukong Suh -- was named a
finalist Monday for college football's most prestigious player of the year
award.

"Having the chance to go back to New York means a lot to
me," Tebow said in a statement. "It is a special honor but it wouldn't be
possible for me to have this opportunity without my teammates and coaches."

The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday in Manhattan.
The presentation ceremony has been televised since 1981 and since 1982 at least
three players have been invited to attend.

The last time as many as five players were invited to New
York was 2004, when USC quarterback Matt Leinart won the award.

Tebow, who was the first sophomore to win the Heisman in
2007, is trying to become the second two-time Heisman winner, joining Ohio
State's Archie Griffin. Tebow finished third in the voting last year, while
getting the most first-place votes.

He's also the first player to finish in the top five of
the Heisman voting three times since Georgia tailback Herschel Walker did it in
the early 1980s.

McCoy was the runner-up last season to Oklahoma's Sam
Bradford and has led No. 2 Texas to the BCS national championship game this
season.

Ingram has rushed for 1,542 yards and scored 15 touchdowns
for No. 1 Alabama.

Stanford's Gerhart, meanwhile, has run for more yards
(1,736) and scored more touchdowns (26) than any player in the nation.

And Nebraska's Suh had 4 sacks in an attention-grabbing
performance against Texas in the Big 12 title game. He is the first defensive
player to be a finalist since 1997, when Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson
became the first full-time defensive player to win the Heisman.

Tebow and McCoy entered this season as heavy Heisman
favorites, but neither has been as productive this season as last and neither
will go into Saturday's presentation as the front-runner.

Tebow returned for his senior season to try and lead the
Gators to a third national title in four seasons, but he won't reach that goal.
After being No. 1 almost all season, Florida lost to Alabama 32-13 in the
Southeastern Conference title game on Saturday and was knocked out of the
national championship race.

The loss likely damaged Tebow's chances at a second
Heisman, too. He has passed for 2,413 yards and rushed for 859 yards this
year.

Like Tebow, McCoy also returned for his senior season to
make a championship run. He has Texas a victory away from its first national
title since 2005, but his numbers also have fallen off compared to '08.

McCoy has passed for 3,512 yards with 27 touchdowns and
12 interceptions. He also nearly threw away the Longhorns' national championship
hopes on the second-to-last play of the Nebraska game, coming within a second of
letting the clock run out before Texas could attempt the winning field goal in a
13-12 victory.

McCoy could become the first player to win the Heisman
the season after finishing second since Walker did it in 1982.

If there is a favorite, it seems to be Ingram.

Hesimanpundit.com, which polls 13 voters throughout the
season, had Ingram on top of it's latest results, just ahead of Gerhart.

Ingram could become Alabama's first Heisman Trophy
winner. He gave his Heisman campaign a late boost by running for 113 yards and
scoring three touchdowns in the SEC title game against Florida.

"I'm looking forward to the experience and appreciate the
opportunity to represent our team at the Heisman ceremony," Ingram said in a
statement.

Gerhart also ended his season with a flourish, running
for 205 yards and three touchdowns and throwing a touchdown pass in a victory
against Notre Dame.

"I am most pleased that my efforts along with those of so
many others this year have put Stanford Football back on the national map,"
Gerhart said.

Nobody finished stronger than Suh, who put together one
of the most dominant defensive games in recent college football history in
Nebraska's near-upset of Texas. He finished the season with 12 sacks.

"It is good to see that the Heisman voters have
recognized the true impact a dominant defensive lineman like Suh can have on a
football game," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said.

Among the top players who didn't make the cut were
Clemson's versatile tailback C.J. Spiller and Boise State quarterback Kellen
Moore.


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