Tim Tebow: Will He Follow Reggie Bush Or Adrian Peterson Career Path?

Brad GoldbachCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14:  NFL quarterback Tim Tebow arrives at the 2010 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Tim Tebow just signed a contract with Jockey to be an underwear model. No, not the Denver Broncos yet, but Jockey.

You may not have heard anything about this Tebow guy, but many people would have you believe that he has already done more off the field than he ever will in the NFL.

Needless to say, Tebow inspires opinions across the board.

So, let's speculate as to what kind of career path he will follow.

Today's exhibit features two running backs—Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson. 

Why Running backs? Isn't Tebow supposed to be a quarterback?

As a predominantly running quarterback in college, it almost seems fitting to compare Tebow to running backs, doesn't it? Mel Kiper might lead you to believe that he should be compared to two tight ends, but I digress. Yes, even a Florida Gators alum can poke a little fun at our "Chosen One."

But, in all seriousness, Bush and Peterson are two pretty good definitions of career paths Tebow can follow.

Bush lit the football world on fire for doing things that people had never seen from college football players before—the high-flying end zone leaps, the zig-zag punt returns for touchdowns, and helping lead a loaded USC team to the top of the college football world.

Tebow also lit the college football world on fire for things never seen before—a quarterback built like a linebacker who bulldozed people, who became the first sophomore Heisman winner, and who inspired his equally loaded team to championships with a charisma rarely seen from a college football player before.

Bush went second to the shock of many people who thought Houston was crazy for passing on him in favor of Super Mario. He never lived up to his potential in the NFL, but people will tell you he is the ultimate utility player and makes defensive coordinators keep tabs on him at all times.

But still, Maurice Jones-Drew went 58 picks later. Revisionist history says there is no way Bush should have ever gone that high. Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen are salivating to become that guy who proves the Broncos wrong, and makes people ask why Tebow was ever picked that high.

More has been made of Bush's off-the-field headlines, such as the money he received in college and Kim Kardashian. He also forayed into modeling, a path Tebow seems to be following with his Jockey contract. 

Bush will forever be known as that utility player who could never be the feature back. He will forever live off of his college reputation, erased from the record books or not. Will Tebow be that utility player, who comes in for "Wildcat" packages and never becomes the full-time quarterback some people think he can be? Will he forever live off his college reputation and nothing more?

Or, could he maybe follow a similar path as Adrian Peterson?

Peterson had a lot of question marks coming into the league. Although his were mostly injury question marks and Tebow's about how he will transition to the NFL system, there were still question marks.

He somehow fell to seventh in the draft. Looking back, you can only reason with Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas being picked ahead of him. JaMarcus freakin' Russell went first. Mel Kiper and Todd McShay led you to believe he was the next great quarterback in the league. Tebow fans sense a trend with this one.

All of them were for different reasons, but all three inspired much surprise for where they were drafted. For most, Tebow's was "First Round?! What?!"

Soon after the draft, Peterson took the football world by storm. People wondered how he fell that far. Sure, he has some weaknesses, but you cannot argue with his talent that puts him in rare company among the NFL's best backs. 

As a quarterback, Tebow probably won't have the opportunity to immediately take the league by storm. But he can prove that all of those questions were silly and show that his winning intangibles were enough to prove the Broncos right for picking him in the first round. People might wonder how a player who was a big reason for three 13-win seasons and two national championships was ever questioned.

Time would tell who made the egregious mistake of passing on Tebow for their bust, but there is always a handful of busts in any draft. Jaguars fans might weep at hearing the strange sound of "Alualu" when they watch Tebow lead the Broncos to the playoffs.

Or maybe you think Jaguars fans will get the last laugh on the 2010 first round (or maybe you think both teams were completely off their rockers).

Maybe you think that quarterbacks should have been the basis of this comparison and Kiper-isms or not, he is the next JaMarcus Russell, who was a bust even bigger than his waistline. Tebow would be a bust bigger than the size of his cult following.

For a man who inspires many opinions, you surely have one on Tebow. Bush, Peterson, Russell, or something completely different? What is yours?