Tebow, Jenkins among football award winners

Published 1:47 am Friday, December 12, 2008

Tim Tebow won the Maxwell Award for the second year, edging Texas’ Colt McCoy and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell for the honor given to college football’s best all-round player Thursday night at the college football awards.

The Florida star joined Notre Dame quaterback Johnny Lattner as the only two-time winners of the Maxwell Award. Lattner won in 1952-53.

Tebow, who will lead Florida against Sam Bradford’s Oklahoma Sooners in the national championship game next month, was the first sophomore to win the Heisman last year and, on Saturday in New York, could become the second player to win it twice.

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‘‘All these awards are special — and they mean a lot to me — but they don’t compare to winning the championship because you share that with everyone on the team,’’ Tebow said. ‘‘That’s the one I really want.’’

The versatile Tebow is fifth in the nation in passer rating (176.7) with 28 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. He hasn’t been asked to run as much this season, but still has 564 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.

Earlier, Tebow took Disney’s Spirit Award for service off the field.

Fellow Heisman finalists, Bradford and McCoy, also were big winners Thursday.

Bradford beat out Harrell and McCoy for the Davey O’Brien Award. Bradford directed the highest-scoring team in major college football history. He led the nation in passer rating (186.3) and TD passes (48) while throwing for 4,464 yards.

‘‘It will be an honor just to be there with those guys,’’ Bradford said. ‘‘This is great to win. I was a little surprised. It’s too early to tell what else will happen.’’

Tebow won the Davey O’Brien Award last year ahead of winning the Heisman.

Everyone sharing the top awards here ‘‘just shows the diversity, the balance in college football today,’’ Tebow said. ‘‘I think it’s a great thing.’’

McCoy was the Walter Camp Player of the Year, leading the All-America team.

Michael Crabtree, a Texas Tech sophomore, won his second straight Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver. Crabtree caught 18 touchdown passes, and has 93 receptions for 1,135 yards. He made headlines for his last-second, winning touchdown catch against Texas.

‘‘This one feels just as good as the first one,’’ Crabtree said. ‘‘You always think you’re going to win, but you just never know for sure.’’

Running back Shonn Greene of Iowa won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back, finishing ahead of Knowshon Moreno of Georgia and Javon Ringer of Michigan State, who will meet in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day in Orlando.

The Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) was won by Andre Smith of Alabama.

On the defensive side, Rey Maualuga of USC won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player over James Laurinaitis of Ohio State and Aaron Maybin of Penn State.

And the Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back) went to Malcolm Jenkins of Ohio State, finishing ahead of Eric Berry (Tennessee) and Taylor Mays (USC).

‘‘This is something I’ve had my eye on for some time,’’ Jenkins said. ‘‘And it’s not just about stats. If it was, I wouldn’t be here. It’s about leadership, and setting an example, too. You can’t imagine what this means to me. I was a semifinalist last year, and I’ve wanted to win it ever since.’’

Matt Fodge of Oklahoma State won the Ray Guy Award (best punter) and Graham Gano of Florida State the Lou Groza Award (best kicker).

Nick Saban was selected the Coach of the Year after leading Alabama to the SEC championship game and a 12-1 record.