2009 Heisman Trophy Finalists Announced - Gerhart, Ingram, McCoy, Suh and Tebow

December 5, 2009 by Dave Congrove

Tim Brown, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame, announced the finalists for the 75th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award live on ESPN's 6pm edition of SportsCenter. Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, Alabama running back Mark Ingram, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow were revealed as the five contenders for the award.

All five finalists will be invited to New York for the live Heisman Announcement on ESPN Saturday at 8pm EST presented by Nissan. This is the first time five finalists were invited for the presentation since 2004.

Gerhart would be Stanford's second Heisman winner since Jim Plunkett won in 1970. Since returning from a knee injury that halted his season in 2007, Gerhart has dazzled on the field.

This season the senior has 311 rushes for 1,736 yards and 26 touchdowns. Gerhart is the second player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Right now, he is second on Stanford's all-time rushing list with 3,182 yards behind Darrin Nelson, who finished his career with 4,033 yards. Gerhart leads the PAC-10 in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Ingram is looking to take home Alabama's first Heisman Trophy award. The sophomore powered through SEC defenses all seasons to be the top rusher in the league. This season he rushed for 1,542 yards on 249 attempts with 15 touchdowns.

He is the first Crimson Tide to be invited to New York since quarterback Jay Barker attended in 1994. The previous year wide receiver David Palmer finished third, which is Alabama's highest showing in the Heisman race.

McCoy is a repeat finalist finishing second to Oklahoma's Sam Bradford last season with 1,604 points. He would be the third Heisman winner from Texas joining Earl Campbell ('77) and Ricky Williams ('98) and the first quarterback to win. McCoy has won 45 games in his collegiate career the most in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivsion history.

The senior is 330 of 468 attempts for 3,512 yards and 27 touchdowns. He has also produced on the ground rushing for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns. McCoy leads the Big 12 in total yards with 3,860. He was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year this year. For the second straight year, two finalists will face each other in the BCS Championship as McCoy will go up against Ingram.

Suh attempts to become only the second true defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. Charles Woodson of Michigan accomplished that feat in 1997. He is the first defensive tackle to be invited to New York since Warren Sapp of Miami attended in 1994.

The senior and 2009 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year holds Nebraska season records for interceptions by a defensive tackle (2), interception returns for touchdowns by a defensive tackle (2) and a career record for interceptions by a defensive tackle (3). He will be the Cornhuskers fourth Heisman recipient behind Johnny Rodgers ('72), Mike Rozier ('83) and Eric Crouch ('01).

Tebow attempts to become the second two-time Heisman winner following Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. Last year, Tebow finished with 1,575 points– the most for a third-place finalist.

The senior capped off his incredible career this season leading the Gators in rushing with 859 yards and 13 touchdowns. He eclipsed Herschel Walker Southeastern Conference record for most career rushing touchdowns this season (56). In the air, Tebow has completed 182 passes out of 279 attempts for 2,413 yards and 18 touchdowns.

The Heisman trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the United States as determined by 870 media representatives, 55 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote through a partnership with Nissan, Heisman's presenting sponsor.

"This has been an extraordinary year for college football and the Heisman race," said Robert Whalen, Executive Director of The Heisman Trophy Trust. "We anticipate the announcement of the newest member to the elite Heisman Fraternity and continuing our celebration of 75 years of tremendous Heisman History."