What assumptions have been made about the future of Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow? Well, it is certain that he will have a career extending beyond college football. But at what position? We've heard tight end and fullback, but no one believe Tebow can play quarterback at the next level.
At first, I agreed with those who said he could be a top-end fullback in the NFL. He would still be remarkable at that position, but Tebow is a quarterback. He has the skill set that allows him to do this in the pros.
Tebow has been very accurate this season, completing 64.4 percent, placing him at 23rd in the NCAA and first in the SEC. He was also fourth in the nation in passer rating. Tebow's 30 passing touchdowns, placing him 13th nationally, is remarkably high due to his ability to run and the use of the running game in Florida.
Tebow has also shown an ability to carry the football. His 12 rushing touchdowns rank 32nd among all rushers (this includes running backs), and he also has accumulated 673 yards rushing, which is 101st in the NCAA. He took 176 carries and didn't fumble once.
These are all fairly strong numbers. His sophomore season was even better and was good enough to merit him the Heisman Trophy. Even this season he received the most first place votes for the Heisman but somehow didn't win.
Tebow has ultimately done the things on the football field that help his offense score. Who would not love somebody who would do that?
But the numbers are only half of Tebow's story; the Gator quarterback has an unbelievable hunger to win games. All he wants to do is win...and do a lot of it. He doesn't care if he won the Heisman in all three of his seasons in Florida so far. Tebow would take three title rings over three Heisman trophies.
This sense of his reminds me of, dare I say it, Michael Jordan. Tebow and Jordan absolutely hate losing, and that's why they climbed to the top and won championships.
If you think that this comparison is laughable, than I encourage you to listen to Tebow's words after the loss to Ole Miss, their only blemish of the season. The gist of what Tebow said was that he had fallen short of his goal of an undefeated season, but that so much good was to come from it.
He pledged that he would be the hardest working, best leader for the rest of the season.
He was right.
Statistics don't lie: Florida hit the 50-point mark four times after the Ole Miss game, something they did just once before it. Tebow had six passing touchdowns during the Ole Miss game and before, but had 24 in the 10 proceeding games.
Tebow's rushing touchdowns inflated from two to 10 after the Ole Miss. He had four games in which he completed over 70 percent of his passes, zero before.
Ole Miss and backwards, the offense
The best stat? Ole Miss and before: 3-1. After: 10-0.
Tebow not only said what he was going to do, he went out and did it, something few players can say they are capable of.
He pushes himself so hard everyday, and plays because he loves the game more than anyone, and wants to be the best he can be. Tebow's work ethic is unmatched by any college football player this season, and perhaps in the last few seasons.
When Dominique Franks, an Oklahoma cornerback, told reporters that if Tebow were in the Big 12, he would be the fourth best quarterback (obviously behind Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Graham Harrell) in the conference, Tebow went out with a chip on his shoulder in the BCS title game and didn't put on a great performance.
In fact, he had his worst passer rating of the season in that game.
But somehow, he found a way to win. And that is all he cares about. Tebow is a proven winner.
Because of his skill set and his work ethic, Tebow will be a success in the NFL. He is a piece most struggling teams could build their offense around. Tebow's potential is nearly limitless; even at quarterback.