Obama meets with Florida champs

Now there’s no controversy about who will replace Percy Harvin and take the coveted No. 1 jersey — It’s President Barack Obama, making plays with the Gators.

Obama gave props to everyone from Urban Meyer for his coaching style to Tim Tebow for his faith to offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert, whose dad, Jeffrey, handled Obama’s secret service during his presidential campaign.

The Gators were welcomed in the East Room right before 4 p.m.

“It was an honor to meet the President,” Tebow said. “He made some really nice remarks about the team and myself and it was great to shake his hand, look him in the eye, and tell him that we’re behind him and praying for him.”

THE PRESIDENT: I remember watching the upset when you guys lost to Ole Miss. I was actually doing a debate in Ole Miss right before the game and I remember Tim apologizing — watching him on TV apologizing to Gators fans and laying down a challenge to himself, making an commitment, a promise that in fact they were going to push as hard as he — they could and he was going to personally take it upon himself to make sure that you never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.

You know, that’s the kind of leadership that you want to see from all our young people — taking responsibility, challenging yourself and others, rising to the moment. You didn’t promise that the Gators would win every game the rest of the way, but it’s a testament to his leadership that they did because he said we’ll always play hard.

Orlando Sentinel
4/23/9