NEW YORK — In a year when star quarterbacks were supposed to dominate the Heisman Trophy race, two running backs and a defensive tackle made as good a case to win college football's most prestigious award as any of the marquee passers.
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy were named Heisman finalists on Monday along with running backs Mark Ingram and Toby Gerhart and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
The last time as many as five players were invited to New York was 2004, when USC quarterback Matt Leinart won the award.
Tebow, McCoy and last year's winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma entered this season as heavy Heisman favorites. But Bradford got hurt and Tebow and McCoy haven't been as productive this season as last. Neither will go into Saturday's presentation as the front-runner.
Tebow, who was the first sophomore to win the Heisman in 2007, is again 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 the first player to be invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony three times since the presentation started being televised in 1981. He's also the first player to finish in the top five of the Heisman balloting three times since Georgia tailback Herschel Walker did it in the early 1980s.
McCoy was the runner-up last season and has led No. 2 Texas to the BCS national championship game this season.
Ingram has run 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.
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