Things aren't great with professional football in Florida right now.
The Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a combined record of 1-8.
But there is one shining star in Florida football: The Gators.
The Gators, led by senior quarterback Tim Tebow, are the defending BCS Champions, and have won two titles in the last three years.
Tebow has been the key to Florida's success. Tebow won the Heisman in 2007 as a sophomore, throwing for 3,286 yards, 32 touchdowns, six interceptions and had a completion percentage of 67 percent. To go along with that, Tebow also had 895 rushing yards on 210 attempts, 23 rushing touchdowns, and zero fumbles.
Besides the Heisman, Tebow won the AP Player of the Year, the Davey O'Brien Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Harley Award, NCAA QB of the Year, Sporting News Player of the Year, ESPY Award for Best College Male Athlete, SEC Male Athlete of the Year, and was an All-American.
Florida lost the Capital One Bowl to Michigan that year, 41-35.
Tebow would have another good year as a junior, despite a drop in his numbers from the year before. The threw for 2,746 yards and 30 touchdowns, while rushing for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns. He would finish third in Heisman voting behind Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford and Texas QB Colt McCoy.
Tebow would have the last laugh, however, beating Bradford and the Sooners in the BCS Championship, 24-14.
So, you would think that Florida would want to keep its native son in state, right?
All three Florida NFL teams are currently in the Tim Tebow sweepstakes.
Jacksonville would be the best fitfor Tebow. Jacksonville is Tebow's hometown, and he attended Nease High School 20 miles east of Jacksonville. Tebow could play Joe Mauer or LeBron James and be the hometown hero.
Gainsville is also about an hour away from Jacksonville, so the Tebow faithful would come watch him play, selling seats and adding value to the franchise.
The Jags also have many holes to fill. Tebow could eventually replace David Garrard at QB. However, some analysts (Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay) don't believe Tebow will be successful at the pro QB position. (If Tarvaris Jackson and Cleo Lemon could start last year...)
He could easily be moved to a halfback position (Tebow has 2,300-plus rushing yards and 48 rushing touchdowns). Tebow would fit into Jax nicely, because he would compliment Maurice Jones-Drew as a more physical back.
If Tebow comes out as a HB, he would fit well into Tony Sparano's Wildcat offense with the Miami Dolphins. Sparano wouldn't hesitate to take Tebow, mostly due to him selecting former QB Pat White out of West Virginia in the 2009 NFL Draft. White entered the draft as a wide receiver, and is slowly being worked into Sparano's offense.
The third option would be Tampa Bay. Tampa has many tools in place—TE Kellen Winslow, RB Derrick Ward, a healthy Carnell Williams—but is one or two playmakers short of being competitive.
Tebow's leadership, which is Tony Dungy-esque, would fit good on a Tampa team that is going to get real young real fast. Tampa Bay drafted QB Josh Freeman out of Kansas State with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, and it unlikely that Buccs head coach Raheem Morris would select another QB that high when he has many pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball.
According to many early 2010 mock drafts (can you belive people make mock drafts this early?), Tebow isn't going to be selected until the mid to late second round. Some even have him dropping into the fourth round.
Tebow will not fall into the second round, unless he expects to be a full-time quarterback.
Back in high school, Tebow was homeschooled and couldn't play prep sports until a Florida law allowed homeschoolers to play in 1996. Tebow chose to play at Trinity Christian Acadamy in Jacksonville, where he was used as a tight end and a linebacker.
Tebow wanted to play quarterback, but Trinity's offense didn't rely on the pass.
Tebow moved to St. Johns County with his mother, while the rest of his family stayed in Jacksonville, so he could play at Allen Nease High School, where he played quarterback.
If Tebow comes out of college as a QB, I could see the Miami Dolphins snatching him up. The Dolphins will have a hole at QB next season, especially if Chad Pennington decides to retire after this season (Chad tore his shoulder capsule, on which he has had two previous surgeries).
Tebow would be a renovator of the Wild Cat offense while passing, rushing, and receiving while at the QB position.
Tebow probably won't put up hall of fame numbers, but he would help his team win games.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!