Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let another praise you, part 2

Furman Bisher Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It's not necessary that an athlete break into tears after losing a game to prove that he's human. In Tim Tebow's case, it just certified him as more than just an athlete, He has lived his life admirably, contributed to those in need of his counsel, and thus, no certification was needed. I've watched him in high times, and when the game hasn't gone his way, but the man inside never changed. Long after he puts the pads and uniform away, he will still be making his way on the high side of life, making all those around him better for it.

Vince Dooley, former Georgia football coach and athletic director:

I would have to say of all the athletes I’ve seen in my life – Herschel Walker – that Tim might be the best when you take everything into consideration. I’m talking about football, athleticism, competitiveness, character, student, self-discipline, service, charity, role model. When you combine all of those things, I don’t think there’s ever been anyone quite like Tim Tebow. Nor may there ever be anyone quite like him again.

Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial-Appeal:
There might be football players in SEC history as good as Tim Tebow. Georgia running back Herschel Walker comes to mind.

But no player in this conference has ever had a greater impact off-the-field than Tebow. He made it cool to be a Christian. He made it acceptable to flatten a defender over at the goal line, then give him a hug during a postgame handshake and tell him "God Bless."

He made a lot of players, especially those in the spotlight, think about their responsibility of being a leader that everyone admired, someone that gives back more than he takes. No player, in my 30 years of covering the SEC, has been more universally respected than Tebow.
And in these days of me, me, me, that speaks volumes.

Dan Johnson, Trinity United Methodist Church, Gainesville, Fla.:
Tim Tebow has captivated the hearts and spirits of all of us here in Gainesville and all across Florida and beyond. He has shown in brilliant colors that it really is possible to live an extraordinary life; it is possible to be a superlative sports figure and also amazingly humble, to be "bigger than life" and also kind, gracious, authentic, and good. He is the "real deal" - his actions match his words and his words match his eye black and his eye black matches his heart. More than any other individual I know, he has used his stage, authentically and genuinely, to share his deep Christian faith in a positive way. I love who he is, and I love that my Grandkids have had a chance to know him and admire him, and also have their picture taken with him, when he graciously offered to sign my Grandson's leg cast. That's the kind of guy he is!

Billy Cannon, LSU All-America and 1959 Heisman Trophy winner:
I can say this without fail: Inside the 20-yard line, he has the greatest knack for getting into the end zone through physical ability since Paul Horning, and I saw some of the great ones between Paul and Tim. Tebow has a unique way of tackling his tacklers. He stops their momentum with his helmet and the shoulder pads on the rises with his leg strength. He just walks away from them.

Jim Kleinpeter, Times-Picayune:
There's nothing quite like watching Tim Tebow on third down. It seems every time he gets the ball in his hands in that situation, his competitiveness and passion really leaps out. That's when he seems to make his most memorable plays.

When he was a sophomore I marveled at his ability to make touchdowns happen. Watching the last two years I saw a guy who gave his all for every inch of yardage. Those qualities made him the best player in the nation for the past three years, even when statistics didn't reflect it. His sincerity and generosity off the field make him nearly impossible not to admire.

John Adams, Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Archie Manning was the All-SEC quarterback for the first 50 years. Tim Tebow will be the All-SEC quarterback for the second 50.

Tebow could have been an All-American quarterback running the wishbone, spread or pro-style offense. If he had played in the 1950s, he wouldhave been an All-American quarterback and linebacker.

He has been a joy to watch and is the best reason I know for increasing college eligibility from four to five years. How about one one more jump pass before you go?

Bruce Feldman, ESPN
People tend to roll their eyes whenever someone brings up the term "intangibles," but whenever scouts evaluate a player that is often when distinguishes those who proved to become stars from those who end up as busts. Tebow's intangibles--his leadership, toughness, determination, commitment--were off the charts and he proved to be one of the best players in the history of the game because he almost always found a way. The thing that I will miss about him leaving the college game is I can't recall a high-profile player who ever had as many moments in the spotlight and always--ALWAYS--handled them with class and dignity.

Mike Dirocco, Florida Times-Union
Is Tim Tebow one of the best college football players of all time? Maybe. Is he one of the best things that have happened to the sport? Absolutely. Most people will remember the touchdowns or the jump pass or The Promise. I'll remember how he gladly gave so much of himself off the field, whether on a mission trip with his family, speaking in prisons, or visiting hospitalized children. Some of the records Tebow set on the field may never be matched. The standard he set as a role model won't be, either. That's a far more significant legacy.

Tony Barnhart, CBS Sports:
Tim Tebow's college football career was never about the number of touchdowns he scored or the games he won. Those were certainly impressive. Tim transcended the game of football and the world of sport with his influence.The great ones make those around them better. Tim Tebow made everybody—not just football players--around him better. And he will keep doing that long
after his playing days are over.

Archie Manning, President, National Football Foundation:
When you’re a head coach and you’re recruiting a blue chip player, you’re hoping that he’s just like he was in high school from the talent standpoint, from the leadership standpoint and from the character standpoint. You don’t always get that, but Tim Tebow made the transition with all of those qualities, but he even brought more than anyone could have envisioned. More than anything else, Tim Tebow is a world-class leader, the ultimate quarterback leader on and off the field.

Even more here.

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