Tim Tebow has wise advice for young players prepared to begin their college careers: Stay humble in the moment.
On Wednesday, the former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner spoke to SEC Country as prospects made official their college choices on National Signing Day. Tebow, now an analyst for the SEC Network, rose to prominence during his time with the Gators from 2006-09.
He arrived in Gainesville as a 5-star member of the Gators’ Class of 2006, and he was part of two national championship teams under then-Florida coach Urban Meyer. Tebow went on to be selected 25th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft.
When asked by SEC Country to give a message to top recruits who made their decisions on or before National Signing Day, Tebow stressed the need to stay grounded.
“Don’t walk in with a big head thinking you’ve arrived and you’re going to be great,” Tebow told SEC Country. “Greatness might be in front of you, but you’ve got to work really, really hard to get there. And I think we’ve seen that a lot of times with kids right now – they’re 4-star, 5-star [recruits], they’re All-Americans, and they think they’re going to show up on campus, and it’s just going to be that easy.
“And yeah, they might be talented, but that doesn’t mean their team will be great. And the first thing you need to do is you need to walk into that room and you need to earn guys’ respect with how hard you grind, with the way that you work. When you get up, you’re the first one there, the last one to leave, and you put in the effort. And once you continue to do that, and your talent matches your work ethic and the way that you approach the game, then you truly have a chance to not only have yourself be successful, but the team as well.”
Young players would be wise to keep Tebow’s message in mind.
True, many top prospects likely are used to the spotlight with the rise of recruiting as a national interest in recent years. Still, there are potential pitfalls with all the attention. Players who enjoyed decorated high school careers must prove themselves again when they arrive on campus as freshmen. They must understand everything is earned, not given.
Tebow knows about the work involved to be among the nation’s best. As he understands, there are no shortcuts to the top.
Tebow’s interview was made possible by Purina Pro Plan, which is partnering with the former Florida quarterback by making him the “barketologist” of the Purina Pro Plan $1 Million Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Bracket Challenge. More information about the challenge can be learned by clicking here.