Tebow received 462 first-place votes and 1,957 points to beat out Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel and Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, the other three finalists.
It was the first time since the Heisman Trophy has been awarded since 1935 that the winner has not been a junior or a senior.
Tebow, who Thursday won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top all-around player, became the first player in Football Bowl Subdivision history, formerly Division I-A, to throw at least 20 touchdown passes and run for at least 20 TDs in the same season. He has thrown for 3,132 yards with 29 touchdowns and run for 838 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.
McFadden was second in the voting with 291 first-place votes and 1,703 points. Last year's Heisman runner-up to Troy Smith, McFadden has run for 1,725 yards with 15 touchdowns in 12 games. He tied an SEC record with 321 rushing yards in a Nov. 3 game against South Carolina and has averaged 143.8 yards per game.