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Tim Tebow may have only lasted three seasons in the NFL, but that shouldn’t make us forget how special he was in college at the University of Florida. 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 an elite football player for the Florida Gators

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 with 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, that 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. Tebow stated:

“To the fans and everybody in Gator Nation, I’m sorry, extremely sorry. 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.

His speech was memorialized forever on a plaque outside Florida’s stadium. Gator fans will never forget those words.

Florida didn’t win the title in 2009, but No. 15’s legacy was already secure

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.


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Even though Florida didn’t win the National Championship during Tebow’s senior year, No. 15’s legacy was already secure. 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 college football.

Stats courtesy of Football Reference