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For Florida Gators fans, the year 2007 holds a special place in their hearts, especially when it comes to college football memories. Why? Because that was the year when Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first underclassman ever to win the prestigious honor. Tebow's 2007 season included many record-breaking accomplishments, and the magical moment when he was awarded the Heisman Trophy.
When Tim Tebow arrived at the University of Florida in 2006, he was touted as one of the most promising high school football players ever. But even with those high expectations, nobody could have predicted the unprecedented success that he would achieve. In his freshman year, Tebow played a supportive role as the backup quarterback behind Chris Leak, but he still managed to score 8 touchdowns and rush for 469 yards.
However, it was the next season that Tebow truly came into his own. He started all 13 games for the Gators and set numerous records along the way. One of his most memorable games was in Week 4, when he rushed for a whopping 166 yards against Ole Miss, breaking the University of Florida's single-game quarterback rushing record.
But that was just the beginning. Over the course of the season, Tebow would set several other records, including the SEC season rushing touchdown record with 20 and the SEC season total touchdowns (passing and rushing) record with 55. In a game against South Carolina, he threw for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also rushing for 120 yards and 5 touchdowns, breaking his own personal record for most rushing touchdowns in a single game.
Of course, Tebow's most significant accomplishment that year was winning the Heisman Trophy. He became the first sophomore ever to win the award, beating out some tough competition, including Arkansas's Darren McFadden and Hawaii's Colt Brennan. In total, he received 462 first-place votes, a whopping 254 points ahead of McFadden. The Heisman win cemented Tebow's legacy as one of the all-time greats in college football history.
Tebow's 2007 Heisman March
|9/1 vs Western Kentucky: Making his first collegiate start, Tim Tebow|
throws for 3 TD's and 300 yards. Tebow adds 38 yards rushing and a score
in the Gators' 49-3 win.
|9/8 vs. Troy: In a 59-31 win, Tebow passed for 236 yards and 3 TD's, while|
rushing for 93 yards and 2 TD's.
|9/15 vs. Tennessee: In a 59-20 dismantling of Tennessee, Tebow passes|
for 299 yards (2 TD vs. 1 INT) and also runs for 62 yards and 2 TD's.
|9/22 vs. Ole Miss: The Gators Struggled against Ole Miss but Tim Tebow|
stole the show in the Gators' 30-24 win. Tebow passed for 261 yards and
2 TD's and also rushed for an amazing 166 yards and 2 scores.
|9/29 vs Auburn: The Urban legend was beat for the 2nd year in a row as|
Urban Meyer's Gator squad fell to Auburn 20-17. Auburn slowed Tebow
down, but he still completed 20 of 27 passes for 201 yards while running
for 75 more. Tebow finished with 1 passing TD and I INT. He also added a
rushing TD. Heisman note: Since sophomores have never won the award,
we're grading this week a yellow. Tebow can afford few Heisman
|10/5 vs. LSU: The Gators led LSU almost the entire game before losing|
late 28-24. Tim Tebow completed 12 of 26 passes for 158 yards and 2
TD's vs. 1 INT. Against LSU's stern defense, Tebow rushed 16 for 67 yards
and 1 TD. Heisman Note: Tebow continues to show great skill and poise,
but as a sophomore can ill afford to have his team lose.
|10/20 vs. Kentucky: Tim Tebow threw for a career-high four TD's as No. 14|
Florida defeated the Wildcats 45-37. Tebow completed 18 of 26 passes for
256 yards and added 78 yards on the ground. Tebow has now scored a
rushing TD eight games in a row.
|10/27 vs. Georgia: A bruised Tim Tebow was unable to guide Florida past|
Georgia as the Bulldogs pulled off the 42 to 30 upset. Although he scored
2 rushing TD's, Tebow was not his usual running force as he actually
netted (-15) yards rushing. He complted 14 of 22 passes for 236 yards and
1 TD vs. 0 INT's. Note: A 3rd loss is a huge blow to Tebow's Heisman
|11/3 vs. Vanderbilt: Tim Tebow and the No. 20 Gators got back on track|
with a 49-22 win. Tebow completed 22 of 27 passes for 281 yards and 3
TD's. Injured shoulders have limited his running, but the Gator QB still
managed 35 yards and 2 TD's via the ground.
|11/10 vs. South Carolina: Another amazing and record setting performance|
for Tebow as the Gators win in Columbia 51-31. Tebow rushes for a
record 5 TD's and also manages to throw for 304 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT.
Tebow eclipsed the century mark with 120 yards rushing. Tebow had
scored a rushing TD in 11 consecutive games.
|11/17 vs. Florida Atlantic: In a 59-20 win for the 12th ranked Gators, Tim|
Tebow makes his mark on the record books again. Increasing his
Heisman candidate status even more, Tebow became the first 1-A football
QB to have 20+ passing and 20+ rushing TD's in the same season.
Tebow also holds the SEC record for most rushing TD's in a season.
Against Florida Atlantic, Tebow completed 25 of 34 passes for 338 yards
(3TD's/1 INT). Tebow also rushed 11 times for 31 yards and a score
|11/24 vs. Florida State: Not to be outdone by McFadden's performance the|
day before, Tebow throws 3 TD passes and runs for 2 more as the #12
gators demolish FSU 45 to 12. Tebow completed 19 of 28 passes for 262
yards and added 89 yards on 13 carries. Tebow added to his SEC single
season rushing TD record that surpasses the likes of Herschel Walker, Bo
Jackson and Emmitt Smith.
Tim Tebow vital stats through 12 regular season games
Passing: 217 of 317 for 3,132 yards (29 TD's/6 Int.)
68.5% Completion pct.
Rushing: 194 carries 838 yards and 22 TD's
Tim Tebow's Recruitment
As a standout QB at Ponte Verda Beach, Florida's Nease High School, Tim
Tebow displayed the same versatility that he's displayed for the Florida
Gators. In 34 career games at Nease he accounted for 159 touchdowns,
including 63 on the run. Tebow was named Florida's Mr. Football and a
The expected impact that Tim Tebow would have wearing their school's jersey had suitors from across the country seeking his services. While Alabama and Florida were the leading candidates, USC made a huge push when Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll and several offensive coaches flew across the country to visit Tebow just four days after the quarterback was on USC's campus. Florida coach Urban Meyer had NFL QB Alex Smith (one of his former QB's when Meyer coached Utah) on the night before the NFL Draft. LSU and Michigan were also in Tebow's finalist group.
Besides Tebow's physical skills that helped lead Nease to a 4-A state championship in 2005, recruiters were attracted to many intangibles. Leadership and character were key attractions that Tebow also possessed. Obviously in the end, Tebow opted to wear a Florida Gator jersey. It certainly didn't hurt that both of Tebow's parents were Florida graduates and that
in-state school Florida was running the spread offense under the direction of Urban Meyer.
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