Tebow gets cast off right hand; gets congratulatory letter from Pres. Bush

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow had the
cast removed from his broken right hand Friday and practiced
without any problems.

Tebow sustained a non-displaced fracture in his non-throwing
hand Nov. 24 against Florida State and wore a cast for three weeks,
even picking the color to match the suit he wore to the Heisman
Trophy presentation in New York.

"I was able to do everything," Tebow said. "It's weird,
obviously, for the first time using it and being able to move the
wrist and everything. It'll be back to normal. It was fine."

The other Heisman finalists -- Arkansas' Darren McFadden,
Hawaii's Colt Brennan and Missouri's Chase Daniel -- signed the cast
before the ceremony, and Tebow said he planned to keep it.

Tebow wore a small brace on his hand and wrist, but he hoped to
have it removed before the ninth-ranked Gators play Michigan in the
Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day in Orlando.

Tebow said he was starting to get back in a groove after missing
a week because of two awards shows.

"The more you're out here, the more comfortable you're going to
get," Tebow said. "I feel back right where I was when we played
Florida State. It's nice to get out here and play after a week off.
I love playing football, so coming out here, I was having fun
running around and getting to play again."

Tebow also added to his growing list of congratulatory messages
following the Heisman.

He got a text message from country music star Kenny Chesney --
the two met at a small concert in Gainesville last summer, and
Chesney invited Tebow to sing with him on stage -- and a handwritten
letter from President Bush.

"That was cool," Tebow said. "He wrote me a really nice
letter, thanking me for having my priorities right and putting God
first and congratulations, all that stuff. That was a huge honor
for me. It was great."

The letter was dated Dec. 9 and read:

"Dear Tim, Congratulations on winning the Heisman Trophy. More
importantly, I appreciate your priorities as stated in your speech!
Faith, family, academics and sport. If your mission was to allow
the Almighty to shine brightly, it worked. I appreciate the love
and pride that your parents obviously felt last night. Please give
them my best. Sincerely, George Bush."

Also Friday, Florida coach Urban Meyer said senior fullback Eric
Rutledge had been dismissed from the team and will not play in the
bowl game. Meyer said freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez fill
Rutledge's role against the Wolverines.