Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Part 2: Tebow's speech in West Viriginia

Where will he go?

You can't. Former Florida Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow says he's heard those two words ever since he picked up a regulation high school football.

The NFL prospect first heard the criticism when people said he would never win a Florida state high school championship after transferring to a team at Nease High School his sophomore year. After years of team building, Tebow says he was able to hold that championship trophy over his head.

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard, and that will happen every day of the week," Tebow recited the quote to a group of student athletes during his keynote speech in Beckley Sunday.

He heard similar criticisms when sports commentators began picking apart his time at the University of Florida. Tebow recalls his freshman year when he began alternating at quarterback with Chris Leak for certain plays.

"All the media the whole year was, 'You can do some special things, but you'll never be quarterback. You can't be a quarterback. You can't take that much pounding in the SEC and do that," Tebow says.

Tebow proved the critics wrong once again by winning two National Championships and a Heisman Trophy. Now the naysayers are back as he readies for the upcoming NFL Draft. Already, people are saying he doesn't have the skills to be a pro-quarterback.

"You probably hear on ESPN all the different guys talking about me and how I can't do this and can't do this. You know, that's my next goal is to overcome those obstacles. That's what I hope you pray for me from this moment on is that I can overcome those obstacles. When people say I can't, with God's help you can."

Even so, Tebow admits he didn't expect the level of scrutiny that comes with the draft.

"I even think I heard some scouts and some coaches critiquing me this week and saying, 'Oh, I don't think he ties his shoes fast enough,' or 'His hair's always gelled,' or 'He's doing this.' I'm thinking, 'Do you really got to critique that for playing in the NFL?’" he says.

He‘s expected to be taken in the first round. There's been a debate about who will make that pick. Tebow says he wouldn't mind going to his favorite childhood team, the Dallas Cowboys. There’s also speculation about him staying in Jacksonville in order to raise the waning stock of the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Tebow says he doesn't really have a preference and will be happy wherever he goes.

"Along the way in the past few years, it's just been so close I haven't really had a favorite team so I couldn't really say. Whichever one chooses me."

Whoever takes him, Tebow says he'll play with the same enthusiasm that he brought to the Florida Gators.

"Living with passion and being a passionate person is a choice that each person gets to make every second of the day in everything you do. Whether that's football, whether that's basketball, whether that's baseball, whether that's business. Anything in life, if you're passionate and you're excited, people want to be around. People want to do a business deal with you. People want you on their team."

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