Athlete Profile: Tim Tebow

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow loves the attention he receives once he makes his way out of a tunnel and onto an opponent’s field, he wants to draw all of the ire from the opposing fans, and let his teammates concentrate on winning the football game.

So go ahead yell, scream obscenities, or make imaginative signs about his homeschooled education. It’s all been done before and none of it bothers Florida’s star quarterback.

Tebow credits his religious upbringing as being the base to give him the inner strength needed to lead on the football field. His parents wanted to instill deep Christian beliefs into the lives of their children, and decided a homeschooled education was their only option.

Bob and Pam Tebow met at a Christian student group meeting on the University of Florida campus in the 1960’s. Together, they wanted to spread the message of their faith as far as humanely possible, and after graduation, the Tebows established a Christian organization to fulfill their passion.

One of their many endeavors throughout the world was creating an orphanage in the Philippines. Last spring, Tebow traveled there with his parents to spend time with the orphans, speak about his faith, and assist the medical staff with certain procedures. The family motto is simple: The Lord has everything under control, and he will take care of the Tebows.

Before 1996, no attendance in either public or private school meant no participation in athletic events or being a member of a sports team sponsored by the school. But all that would change.

Legislation was passed in Florida allowing homeschooled students to participate in local high school sporting events. The law specifies a student is eligible only for teams in their residential school district.

The Tebows lived in the Jacksonville area of Florida, and Tim began his football career as a linebacker/tight end for a local Christian Academy in town. After the season, Tebow let his parents know that he preferred to play at the quarterback position.

His parents decided to assist their son in fulfilling his goal of becoming a high school quarterback. Tebow’s mother packed their belongings and moved them to an apartment complex closer to Nease High School, which was known for their passing game.

All it took was spring practice for Tebow to begin turning the heads of the Nease coaching staff. And before he was done with high school, Tebow would lead Nease to a state title, be named Florida’s “Mr. Football,” and a Parade All-American. His high school career numbers are staggering, as Tebow threw for 9,810 yards, 95 passing touchdowns and rushed for an additional 3,186 yards with 62 rushing touchdowns.

He wanted to remain open-minded in the college recruiting process, despite his family ties to the University of Florida. Tebow enjoyed his meeting with then-Alabama head coach Mike Shula, as they discussed how his talents would be used in the Crimson Tide offense. But in the end, he chose the Gators because of Urban Meyer’s spread offense, an offense perfectly designed to exploit Tebow’s talent at the quarterback position.

The Gator coaching staff wanted to utilize Tebow as a dual threat from the quarterback position, and he did not disappoint them in his collegiate debut as he scored a rushing touchdown. Tebow’s biggest game of his freshman season would come against SEC rival LSU Tigers, as he accounted for all three Gator touchdowns. Tebow also debut his patented, jump in the air and double-pump his throwing arm before releasing the ball pass in this game. His contributions as a key reserve seemed to be the spark plug needed to elevate Florida to a national championship, the Gators first since 1996.

Meyer named Tebow to the starting quarterback position prior to the start of spring practice for the 2007 season. But questions lingered around the program if he was ready to take on the position full-time or was Tebow simply a gimmick item from the Gator playbook. He silenced his critics immediately in his first game as Florida’s quarterback by throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdown passes. By season’s end, he became the first sophomore ever to be named a Heisman Trophy winner.

How did he do it? Simply put, his first campaign as a full-time quarterback was record-breaking. Tebow finished the season by throwing for 3132 yards with 29 touchdown passes, while running for 838 yards and scoring 22 rushing touchdowns. He is the first collegiate football player to rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season; and his combined 51 touchdowns were more than 87 D-1-A teams total touchdowns scored in the season. He became the third Gator in history to win the Heisman (Steve Spurrier and Danny Wueffel).

Coming into this season, Tebow understands he has a target on his back, and to keep his edge, he will have to put the time and effort on and off the practice field to be ready for game day.

Tebow on the Web

Tim Tebow Wikipedia Page

Wikipedia page; contains short bio, career stats, and external links

Tim Tebow Fan Club Page
Fan club official page; contains short bio, stats, and link to recent video highlights

Tebow’s News and Commentary

Tim Tebow says ‘sorry’ after Ole Miss stuns Gators
Tebow apologizes to the Gator faithful on his poor performance against Ole Miss

Tim Tebow Heisman Watch
See how Tebow is fairing in a weekly mock Heisman Trophy poll

Tebow Says

Tebow discusses his inner feelings following a tough defeat in SEC conference game:

”Good will come out of this,” Tebow said. “You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody.”

Tebow after winning the Heisman Trophy last season:

“I am fortunate, fortunate for a lot of things,” Tebow said. “God truly blessed me and this just adds on. It’s an honor. I’m so happy to be here.”

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