Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been making headlines for more than a month as he attempts to shift from a stalled NFL career to taking a shot at professional baseball.
Tebow, who signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets after working out for Major League teams last month, has surprised many with his decision to pursue a baseball career as a 29-year-old.
Well, in an interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday, Tebow revealed that he was planning to switch to baseball a little earlier before he got a call from then Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.
Tebow signed with the Eagles in April 2015 before being cut prior to the 2015 season.
“(Baseball) was something that a couple years ago I started thinking about so I brought it up to some of my agents at CAA and they kind of looked at me like, ‘Well, you know, a lot of athletes probably think they can do this, but you can’t really,'” Tebow said on the radio program. “So I just told a baseball agent, ‘Hey, will you just come take a look at me. Like honestly, no bias, just come take a look at me. If you think I can’t do it, then just tell me.’
“So I went to a place in Florida where they were having some competitive games and what not, I went and had a little workout and he, you know, saw something that he liked so we started to pursue it. Actually that same day in the middle of probably my fifth at-bat, Chip Kelly called and so my brother was like, ‘Hey, Chip Kelly’s on the phone’ and hands me the phone. And then I had to make a tough choice because I was really thinking about going baseball then, but the Eagles, that offense, everything looked good so I was like, ‘Well, all right, I’ll give that a shot.’ Obviously that didn’t work out, but then I started putting in the time and training and so kind of the rest is history.”
Well, Tebow hasn’t made history yet with his baseball pursuit, but in the interview Thursday he elaborated on his motivations for switching sports at this point.
“It’s honestly something that never really left me. If I would be speaking at different universities and they were hitting BP, I might go out there and hit. Just always loved it and it was something that was the second-hardest decision honestly to give up baseball to go to Florida to play football,” he said.
Patrick asked if he ever gave consideration to trying a different position as a way of getting back into the NFL.
“Not really. Honestly, it was just for me, it’s always about pursuing what’s on your heart, what you love, what you’re passionate about. And I love the game of football, but what I really love doing is playing the quarterback position,” Tebow said. “And so I had a lot of good opportunities to play other positions, but that wasn’t (in) my heart, wasn’t what I wanted to do. If I was going to change, I would rather make a change to baseball to pursue it because I love it.”
Tebow is expected to join the Mets’ instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla., next week.
The interview, which can be accessed in full here, offered some interesting perspective into Tebow’s thought process.
It also featured another response that might interest Gators fans.
Patrick asked Tebow where he keeps his Heisman Trophy, and he laughed before revealing the answer.
“It’s actually in my parents’ house in Jacksonville, Fla., like behind my sister’s wedding photos in the back there,” he said. “You probably wouldn’t even be able to see it if you were in there.”