Not only did Tebow win two national championships at Florida, but he established himself as arguably the greatest college quarterback of all time.
Tim Tebow was a video game player at Florida
Tim Tebow was Chris Leak’s backup during the 2006 season, but he came in as a wildcat quarterback from time to time. The lefty finished his freshman year with 358 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, 469 rushing yards, and eight rushing touchdowns.
The Gators defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the National Championship Game by a final score of 41-14. Tebow got into the endzone in the fourth quarter by scoring a one-yard touchdown run.
In 2007, Tebow took over the starting job and had a historic season. He won the Heisman Trophy after throwing 32 touchdowns and running for 23. Tebow racked up 3,286 passing yards and 895 rushing yards. Even though Florida only went 9-4 and lost to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl, it was still an incredible season for Tebow.
It wasn’t until 2008, though, when the legend of Tim Tebow was born.
Tim Tebow delivered “The Promise” speech after Florida lost to Ole Miss
Tim Tebow and the Gators lost to the Ole Miss Rebels at home in Week 4. It was a devastating loss for Florida, as the team dropped from No. 4 to No. 12 in the AP rankings.
During his media session with reporters following the loss, Tebow delivered “The Promise” speech. The superstar QB apologized to Gator fans for the defeat and promised he would lead the club on an exceptional run.
“To the fans and everybody in Gator Nation, I’m sorry, extremely sorry,” Tebow said. “We were hoping for an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida’s never done here. But I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season, and you will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless.”
Tebow and the Gators went undefeated after losing to Ole Miss. Florida defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the National Championship Game, 24-14, in Miami. Tebow fulfilled his promise to Florida and became an icon.
Tim Tebow’s words during his speech were memorialized forever on a plaque outside Florida’s stadium. That speech will never be forgotten by Gator fans.
Florida didn’t win the title in 2009, but No. 15’s legacy was already secured
Tim Tebow finished his Florida career with 9,285 passing yards, 88 passing touchdowns, 2,947 rushing yards, and 57 rushing touchdowns. He’s considered by many to be the best college quarterback in NCAA history.
Even though Florida didn’t win the National Championship during Tebow’s senior year, No. 15’s legacy was already secured. He won two titles in four years and finished top-five in three straight Heisman races.
Tim Tebow played 35 games in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. He threw for 2,422 yards and 17 touchdowns. While his NFL career was short-lived, Tebow will always be revered in the college football world.
Stats courtesy of Football Reference.