2007 HEISMAN TROPHY
Warriors’ Taylor has Heisman tie beyond Brennan
NEW YORK » Hawaii freshman slotback Rick Taylor had more at stake than most viewers of yesterday's Heisman Trophy presentation.
At least twice as much.
Most receivers would've been honored to catch passes from one Heisman finalist. Taylor's caught them from two: winner Tim Tebow and third-place finisher Colt Brennan.
"Obviously, I'm pretty excited. It's not every day guys you play with are up for the Heisman," Taylor said in a phone interview from Hawaii, where he's studying for finals and getting ready to start practice next week for the Sugar Bowl.
Taylor was one of Tebow's favorite receivers at Nease High School in St. Augustine, Fla.
"As of right now, my loyalty is with Colt. He's my quarterback now, that's how it stands. Any way it goes, though, I'll be happy," Taylor said yesterday before the voting was revealed.
Taylor was asked to compare the two players.
"Colt is the most pinpoint accurate I've ever seen," Taylor said. "Timmy is more of a power arm kind of guy. His arm strength is out of this world."
Ken Taylor, Rick's father, coached defensive backs at Nease and has been an observer at many UH games and practices.
"The attribute both of them have is they become magical on the field," Ken Taylor said. "That's what sets them apart."
Break from tradition
Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman in the 73-year history of the award, but the third Florida quarterback. The others were Steve Spurrier
(1966) and Danny Wuerffel
"It's surreal a little bit," he said. "It's just overwhelming."
Tebow completed 217 of 317 passes this year, for 3,132 yards and 29 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He rushed for 838 yards and 22 touchdowns.
He will officially be honored at a dinner tomorrow night.
Missouri junior quarterback Chase Daniel
will likely return to school next year after finishing fourth in the Heisman voting. While his 6-foot-even height is a factor, conversations with Brennan about the topic might also have him leaning to waiting a year to enter the draft.
"We talked about that at the Elite Eleven camp (in the offseason)," said Daniel, who wore a lei from Brennan's traveling party during part of the presentation show. "I'm glad I got to see him play this year. He said enjoy your time here and being in college. He's a great guy."
Former New York Giants star defensive end George Martin
, a co-captain of the 1986 Super Bowl winners, received the Heisman Humanitarian award.
Martin is in the middle of a 3,200-mile walk across America to raise money for first responders of the 9/11 attacks.
See you in Big D
Daniel's Missouri team meets Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden
's Arkansas team in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, in Daniel's hometown of Dallas.
"People are licking their chops to see two Heisman finalists," Daniel said.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley
said rumors that the Gators wanted out of their Aug. 30, 2008, season opener against UH at The Swamp are unfounded.
"No, never tried to at all," Foley said yesterday, when asked if Florida ever considered a buyout.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.