http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080809/COLUMNISTS0306/808090333/1065/sports

— The words sound good.

“I’m not anxious to leave the University of Florida,” Tim Tebow said.

Just words.

Sure, he no doubt means that. When Tim Tebow says something, people don’t just listen, they believe. His own teammates often seek him to arbitrate their friendly disputes and competitions, saying, “Ask Tim. He doesn’t lie.”

So, while Tebow, the Gators’ all-everything quarterback and golden boy, says he isn’t anxious to leave UF before his eligibility expires, that doesn’t mean he won’t.

All day Friday, coaches and teammates lauded Tebow with their own words, talking about how he’s an achiever, a competitor, someone always in search of the next challenge, a higher rung on the ladder.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever coached a guy like Tim Tebow,” Florida head coach Urban Meyer said. “I love Tim Tebow.”

The kid is only 20, but he is sage beyond his years.

Even Meyer looks to Tebow for comfort, calling his quarterback “Vitamin Tebow,” phoning him most every day, just so he can hear his QB’s voice, because doing so makes him feel good.

Considering all that, who really thinks that by this time next year, Tebow’s training camp address won’t be with an NFL team?

The guy’s already won the Heisman Trophy and been on a national championship team. Look for him soon on the cover of Sports Illustrated and Men’s Fitness. How many college encores does he need to perform, especially if he wins another Heisman Trophy?

The question, then, is intriguing.

What could possibly keep Tim Tebow on Florida’s campus beyond his upcoming junior season?

Well, two things actually.

# Not winning a Southeastern Conference championship as a starting quarterback.

# Not having his degree.

As for the latter, Tebow’s teammates joke that maybe they should hide his alarm clock or have professors tell him wrong times for exams. Have him fail a class or two. Anything to keep him in school.

Instead, though, Tebow loaded up on courses this summer, and when asked when he plans to graduate, he replied, “Soon.”

So it has to be door number one — not winning a championship — that might keep Tebow in orange and blue for his senior season. And any way you look at it, not winning isn’t a very good option.

But it is what drives Tebow. Consumes him.

Florida Today
8/12/08