By Mark Zavodnyik
Tim Tebow was awarded the William V. Campbell Trophy Tuesday night in New York.
The trophy is sponsored by the National Football Foundation and presented annually to the “individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.”
Prior to the award ceremony and dinner, Tebow spoke with the media on a wide range of topics, including the Heisman Trophy, the SEC Championship Game, and his favorite football memories at the University of Florida.
-On his Heisman chances: “I think there’s a lot of great candidates,” Tebow said. “It would be tough based on that last game, that last loss [against Alabama]. It would be tough, probably a long shot. It’s just an honor that I am a finalist and that I have an opportunity [to win].”
-On getting over Saturday’s loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game: “I don’t know that I will necessarily be over it…it’s still gonna hurt,” Tebow said. “It is still something that we wanted, a dream for us. It’s how you want to go out, how you want to finish things. So yeah, it’s gonna hurt.
“But I think we are moving on and bouncing back, using it as motivation in this next game and in the next steps that I’m going to take in my life,” Tebow said.
-On what sets Alabama’s defense apart: “Well number one, their coaching. Their coaching is phenomenal,” Tebow said. “They put themselves in great positions to make plays and they game-plan what you do well and what they are going try and take away.
“And then they have great players,” Tebow added. “They have some of the best players in college football. I respect so many guys on their team. From Rolando McClain to [Terrence] Mount Cody…all of those guys. Especially Rolando McClain, just him as a person and as a player. I respect him as much as anybody I’ve played against in college football in my career.”
-On the possibility of winning the Campbell Trophy, frequently called the “Academic Heisman”: “This award means so much because it's not just how you play on the field, it's not just what you do in the classroom, but it's what you do as a leader and someone who is going to serve your community,” Tebow said.
-On what position he pictures himself playing in the NFL: “Hopefully quarterback, that’s my goal. Ever since I was very young I wanted to be a quarterback and I just want to have an on opportunity and a chance to do that, that’s all I can ask for,” Tebow said. “My goal is to be a quarterback.”
-Favorite memories as a Gator:
“Obviously beating Alabama in the SEC Championship …coming back in the fourth quarter to beat them was fun,” Tebow said.
“All the rivalry games, really. If you count Alabama as a rival, we lost two games in our career versus rivals and that’s pretty special. We didn’t lose to Tennessee or FSU [Florida State], and we only lost once to Georgia and that’s pretty special,” Tebow said.
“I think that’s one of the coolest things that I’ll take away from my time at the University of Florida because honestly, as a Gator fan you grow up and every year it’s just, ‘OK, if we beat FSU, it’s a good year…if we beat Georgia and Tennessee it’s a good year, regardless of what happens.’ So that was pretty cool for me to be able to do that.”
Photos Courtesy of The National Football Foundation
Thursday, December 10, 2009
By Mark Zavodnyik