The prolific Gators' quarterback now adds the nation's premier scholar-athlete award to his resume, as Florida becomes the first school in history to boast three Campbell Trophy winners.
NEW YORK, December 8, 2009 - University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, arguably one of the most decorated players in college football history, became the 20th recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, at The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame's Annual Awards Dinner in New York City tonight.
The Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy) is one of college football's most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. The award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship. A total of $300,000 was awarded to Tebow and the other 15 Campbell Trophy finalists, who each claimed $18,000 scholarships for their post-graduate educations.
"Tim Tebow is a once in a lifetime student-athlete," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "Tim's unparalleled accomplishments and charisma have transcended the playing field, capturing the imagination of both young and old. We could not be prouder to have Tim as an ambassador of this award and our sport."
Boasting a 3.66 grade point average as a Family, Youth & Community Sciences major, Tebow has twice been named the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year. Based on his combined scholastic achievement and campus involvement, Tebow also recently earned induction into the university's Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors awarded to students by the Division of Student Affairs at the UF. The Jacksonville, Fla., native is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a two-time First Team Academic All-American.
As the only sophomore to ever win the Heisman, Tebow boasts two national championship titles and has also won the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Manning Award, back-to-back Maxwell awards in 2007 and '08, and the Sullivan Award, which is annually presented to the nation's top amateur athlete. As the undisputed leader of the nation's No. 5 team, he is the only player in NCAA history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season (2007) and entered his senior campaign with four NCAA, nine SEC and 23 school records. Tebow leads the Gators in both rushing and passing, accounting for more than 11,000 yards of total offense and 140 touchdowns in his career.
Tebow has spent nearly every summer of his life preaching the word of God around the country and participating in mission trips abroad. In 2009 alone, he has dedicated nearly 700 hours to community service efforts and appearances, including hospital and orphanage visits, and was named the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy recipient for his exemplary outreach.
Tebow joins former Campbell Trophy winners Brad Culpepper (1991) and Danny Wuerffel (1996) and three others as the sixth NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Florida.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for both academic and athletic accomplishments. The centerpiece to the NFF's scholar-athlete program, which has awarded $9.2 million to 724 top athletes, the Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, was renamed this fall in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal.
"The NFF mission is to build leaders through football, and the 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class members stand as a testament to that creed," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "We look forward to supporting the bright futures of each of these fine young men, and we take great pride in holding them out as examples of football's unique ability to build tomorrow's leaders."
Candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
The 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients and Campbell Trophy Finalists includes:
Jon Asamoah - OG, University of Illinois
Matt Bauman - LB, Brigham Young University
Eric Decker - WR, University of Minnesota
Moses Harris - S, Fresno State
Tim Hiller - QB, Western Michigan University
Paul Jasinowski - OT, Brown University
Beau Kildow - WR, Morningside College (Iowa)
Josh Mahoney - LB, University of Northern Iowa
Colt McCoy - QB, University of Texas
Jarrell NeSmith - TE, Tusculum College (Tenn.)
Joe Pawelek - LB, Baylor University
Todd Reesing - QB, University of Kansas
ZaVious Robbins - WR, Hardin-Simmons University (Texas)
Tim Tebow - QB, University of Florida
Blaine Westemeyer - OT, Augustana College (Ill.)
Reed Williams - LB, West Virginia
Listed in chronological order, past Campbell winners, counting two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, and a Heisman Trophy winner, include:
Chris Howard (Air Force, 1990 - College President)
John B. Culpepper (Florida, 1991 - Attorney)
Jim Hansen (Colorado, 1992 - Leader in Climatological Research)
Thomas Burns (Virginia, 1993 - Engineering Executive)
Robert Zatechka (Nebraska, 1994 - Physician)
Bobby Hoying (Ohio State, 1995 - Real Estate Executive)
Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996 - Nonprofit Executive Director)
Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997 - NFL Player)
Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1998 - Television Broadcaster & Insurance Executive)
Chad Pennington (Marshall, 1999 - NFL Player)
Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, 2000 - NFL Player)
Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami, 2001 - Corporate Executive)
Brandon Roberts (Washington University in St. Louis, 2002 - Physician)
Craig Krenzel (Ohio State, 2003 - Insurance Executive)
Michael Munoz (Tennessee, 2004 - Marketing Manager)
Rudy Niswanger (Louisiana State University, 2005 - NFL Player)
Brian Leonard (Rutgers University, 2006 - NFL Player)
Dallas Griffin (University of Texas, 2007 - Corporate Finance Associate)
Alex Mack (University of California, 2008 - NFL Player)
Photo Courtesy of The National Football Foundation