Tim Tebow and Tyler Hansbrough: What They Have in Common

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators scrambles for yardage during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It’s official, I can no longer look at Tim Tebow without immediately thinking of Tyler Hansbrough.

Now, before you get your jockstraps in a knot, I know, Tyler Hansbrough is a basketball player while Tim Tebow plays football for the reigning National Champion Florida Gators.

But other than that, these two athletes are nearly identical.

Tebow grew up on a farm outside of Jacksonville, Florida, while Hansbrough grew up surrounded by farms in rural Popular Bluff, Missouri.

Hansbrough is considered by many to be the greatest college basketball player of all-time, while Tebow is likely to finish his career at Florida as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football history.

And in terms of their ability to transfer their abundant success in college sports into the professional ranks, these two men are also identical.

Hansbrough was a first team All-American four straight years at the University of North Carolina and was recently selected as the Sporting News College Basketball Player of the Decade.

Tebow has won two National Championships in three years, has already won one Heisman Trophy and will be a strong contender for a second Heisman this year.  

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Well, that’s all great.  Both players will receive standing ovations every time they attend a North Carolina Basketball game or Florida football game for the rest of their lives.

But, neither player is likely to hear much more than boos and heckling from the moment they step onto an NBA basketball court or an NFL football field.

You see, both Hansbrough and Tebow are prototypical cases of athletes who have the ability to dominate college sports while not have the physical tools to make a successful leap into professional sports.

Hansbrough is bound to look like a tortuous on an NBA basketball court while watching sleek, quick power forwards run circles around him.

Tebow does not have the speed or ability to run the football in the NFL and 350 pound linemen are likely to rip his head off as he goes through his long, exaggerated throwing motion.

The nail in the coffin for Tebow’s chances of successful in the NFL is that professional football teams don’t run the option….unless he gets drafted by the Dolphins in which case Tony Sparano might implement the option into his wildcat offense.

Although not really funny and overly sarcastic, that last sentence was actually a joke for all of you Dolphin fans that are now intending to decimate that last line in the ‘comments’ section of this article.

Despite being arguably the greatest college basketball player of all-time, Hansbrough dropped to seventh in the 2009 NBA draft before being selected by the Indiana Pacers.

Tebow will be counting his lucky stars if he’s drafted as high as seventh in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Bottom line is that both players, although tremendous college athletes, will never see a professional all-star game, MVP Award or receive even half of the attention they received in college, which is why I cannot look at Tim Tebow without immediately thinking of just how similar he is to Tyler Hansbrough.

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