Back at UF, Tebow’s NFL dreams sound intact

By DAVID JONES
Florida Today
Published: September 12, 2014

GAINESVILLE — Yes, every now and then former Florida Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow still gets a little nervous.

 After completing shooting for the “SEC Nation” that airs on the SEC Network, Tebow went into the crowd to shake hands, sign autographs and have some photos taken to the delight of hundreds watching. Then it happened. Up in the sky, something stretched out a tiny baby with a bow around its head. Cute kid. Scary sight, thought.

 The proud parent was about to hand off the precious cargo and what could Tebow do? He smiled real big, held out his hands, and the tiny child slid into his arms behind the roped-off area. Cameras clicked like wild fire. Fans roared. In the sizzling hot heat that was so bad the ESPN crew had a guy hold a fan in front of Tebow during the shooting, he was clutch taking the pass.

 “Yes, that was a little nerve wracking. But you know that’s not the first time that’s happened,’’ he said with a chuckle. “I’m just glad it was a very calm atmosphere.’’

 Everywhere Tebow goes, it gets strange. One fan after another slid up to the rope to get a photo, to touch, to cheer. Even thought we’re going on seven seasons since he won the Heisman, six since leading the Gators to their last national title.

 While ESPN executives have been less than thrilled about expressing his desire to keep playing, Tebow gave a response on today about what he thinks about the NFL. Asked how long it would take him to get ready if a team called he responded: “Not long.’’

 Asked a second time, he responded again with a smile: “Not long. I’m always working hard, you know that.’’

 The odds of that call ever coming look less likely every day. Asked directly if he’d given up on the NFL, Tebow dodged the question by saying he’s learned to enjoy the experiences of the moment.

 “It’s been great,’’ Tebow said of working for ESPN. “So many of you all (Florida beat writers) have been around me a number of years. You know how passionate I am about football, for the Southeastern Conference, college football in general. . . . It’s Friday afternoon and most of these guys should be in school but they’re out here and they are excited about it. That’s been every week. That’s something that’s super exciting about this show because it is an emotional passion, live, and I love that.’’

 The hardest thing about his new job?

 “Putting on all these suits,’’ he chuckled.

 Tebow said he starts every day breaking down film.

 “Looking at how we would attack these defenses, the best way to handle them,’’ he said. “That’s awesome to me. It keeps you in the game, that’s fun.’’

 Former LSU star Marcus Spears said he was anxious to see Tebow on the Florida campus. He came away realizing it was as entertaining as he thought it would be.

 ebow is in town to do the Game Day version of the SEC on Saturday. His thoughts on the current Florida team that plays Kentucky: “I’ve been very impressed. Offense, defense, special teams. You look at what Kurt Roper has done offensively, he’s really given these guys an opportunity to play in shape and be successful in space and I think it’s really going to help, this offense. Coach (Will) Muschamp has always done a great job with his defense all the way back to when we played him in 2007 and he was at Auburn. I think both sides of the ball are going to be awesome this year and really help turn this Florida program around from a 4-8 team to a team that has a chance to compete in the SEC.’’

 All the fans flooding to Tebow is nothing new. He’s dealt with it since his freshman season at UF.

 “Being here at the University of Florida is obviously very nostalgic, all these great fans,’’ Tebow said. “You get an opportunity to make their day by taking a picture, doing something nice for them. It’s fun for me.’’

 He nodded towards a nearby building where he took his first class on campus, a 7:55 a.m. course.

 “It’s fun,’’ Tebow said. “I obviously have so many great memories and love the University of Florida and just love what we’re doing too. Being a part of ball and talking about it every week in a fun environment. It’s a lot of fun for me.’’

 As for the NFL, Tebow said: “I think every day is just an opportunity to count your blessings and that’s what I do and it’s a blessing to do this and you know me, you know I’m going to train hard every day, that’s my mentality. But I’m going to do that at anything I’m doing. I have so many great opportunities, this, an opportunity (coming up starting next week) with ‘Good Morning America.’ I just love what I’m doing. It’s great.’’

 The “Good Morning America” appearances are “an opportunity to show my heart and be who I am, too,’’ he said. “That’s someone who likes to make a brighter day in people’s lives. That’s a lot about what I’m going to be doing on the show.’’

 The biggest key to Saturday’s UK-UF game? Tebow said it’s how Wildcats quarterback Patrick Towles handles the pressure Florida is going to throw at him.

 “Last when when Ohio pressured him he was 5 of 9 for 36 yards and two sacks,’’ Tebow said. “And I believe Florida is going to pressure and when that happens will those receivers be able to win man-to-man coverage and will they be able to give him a few seconds to get the ball off.’’

 Tebow said he analyzes tape, looks at film and gives his honest opinion.

 “I’ll always be a Gator fan but when you live on the show you take that away and you look at the facts,’’ he said. “And you look at your ability to analyze tape and analyze film. If I think they are going to win, I’ll say it. If I think they are going to lose I’ll say that as well. I think you take being a fan out of it for a little while.’’

 Tebow added he had “pretty good memories of almost every campus in the SEC . . . coming back here it’s just a little more special.’’

 Nearby, fans lined the ropes waiting to see if Tebow would come back and spent more time. His legend in Gainesville lives on.

 Asked about next week’s Alabama-Florida game, he called it two teams with chips on their shoulders with something to prove.

 “I think it’s going to be a great game in an awesome environment and we’re going to be there to share it with everybody,’’ Tebow said. “And that’s going to be really fun.’’

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6 Responses to “Back at UF, Tebow’s NFL dreams sound intact”

  1. Sage says:

    Thanks for posting, Buzzy. Obviously there is no substitute for actually playing QB, it’s probably a good thing that Tim has his job as an analyst. Working hard at that is bound to enhance his intelligence as a quarterback and team leader.

    So, if Tim gets back in the NFL and has more success, all of his (lame, so very lame) detractors will say that he truly wasn’t ready before, and that they did him a favor by banishing him to study while being an analyst.

    I could handle that kind of stupidity, just as long as he gets back on the field!

    • ck says:

      Sage: Some things do qualify as stupidity, ha, ha! Mostly, the negative detractors who are not able to differentiate what was there all along, but b/c of the “herd mentality” get caught up in misinformation parading around as TRUTH!!!

  2. Shaztah says:

    I am going to be there tomorrow and hopefully I will get to meet him.

    On a side note, with all of this crazy stuff going on in the NFL with Rice and now Peterson I have been thinking a lot today. Some of this stuff starts in college, Look at the last 3 heisman winners. Newton’s bad ethics and arrogance have been there since his days at Florida. The guy plays 1 year in a division 1 school and wins a title and handed a heisman. Then you have Johnny whats his face and he plays what 2 years and wins a heisman and everyone knows about his off the field stuff. Then you have Jamies Winston who is a theif, rapist and liar and he wins the heisman too, whatever happened to strength of character being a big part of what was required to earn the heisman? I just think there is a sad message being sent.That no matter if you steal, lie, cheat, rape and party and get arrested its ok as long as you play on Saturday you can still win college footballs greatest honor.
    The last 3 heisman winners have shamed what Tim worked for all his life. To study hard, work hard at the sport he loves and set a great example for the kids coming behind him. He has character, greatness and leadership which is something that none of those 3 have. Sorry to rant.

    • Sage says:

      But a good job. Some info I didn’t know.

    • ck says:

      Shaztah: Lucky you and hope you get an autograph too! He has all those qualities and more which is why they will never measure up to those standards as it is too hard for the “also rans” without discipline…well said, Shaztah!

  3. ck says:

    AND YOU CAN BELIEVE HE WILL MAKE GOOD ON HIS PROMISE LIKE HE ALWAYS HAS DONE IN THE PAST!!! AT LEAST HIS ACTIONS LINE UP!!!
    GO TEBOW!!!

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