RECRUITING: Tebow prepares for official to UF

Ardent Florida fans have circled this one on their calendar for many months. After all, it doesn't get much bigger than Florida versus Florida State; unless of course, you're talking about Tim Tebow. The big circle around the (Ponte Vedre) Nease quarterback's official visit to the University of Florida campus has been a long time coming.

(Tim Tebow profile)

"I'll be at the Florida/Florida State game this weekend," Tebow stated. "I'm taking my official visit there this weekend. We're driving in Saturday morning. I think Tate Casey is going to be my host. I hope to get an opportunity to watch how things progress and get a better feel for the relationship between the players and coaches. I have spent some time there (at Florida), but I still think that I can only get a better picture of everything."

Tebow has been the centerpiece on dartboards from Los Angeles to Gainesville. With the southpaw having such a close relationship with his family and friends, logical thought has this down to a battle between the Pachyderms and the Lizards. But this is recruiting, where logic is all too-often ignored. Regardless, rumors about Tebow occur as often as sunshine in Florida.

"It's still Florida, Alabama, LSU, Michigan, and USC," he repeated once again. "At this point, I really don't know where that place will be. I really don't read about what people are saying about me going to Alabama or Florida or whatever, but I hear about it. People approach me and tell me about it though (he said laughing) I hear a lot of things."

When he answered, I told him this was Mark with recruiting call number 3,044. I was probably short a few thousand. As his mid-December announcement draws near, I asked Tebow if the phone calls from guys like myself gotten to be a bit tiring?

"A little bit," Tebow said laughing. "It's still an enjoyable process in some ways. Not many people get to go through this. I'm getting to meet a lot of people, awesome people and coaches. I've gotten to build relationships with a lot of these people, and that's probably been the greatest thing about all of this."

As I reported last August, a couple of those high profile recruits have struck up a close friendship with Tebow. If the three were to attend the same school, they would seemingly present themselves a "Loathsome Trio" for defensive coordinators to defend.

"I get to talk to Jarred (Fayson) every week and Jamar (Hornsby) a lot too. Not every week, but a lot. I talk about a lot of things with both of them, including recruiting. Jarred and I have talked about playing together. If that were to happen that would be awesome. He is a great athlete and football player. We talk every week. I've had those conversations with Jamar too. He's not pushing me about it."

Tebow is excited about his immediate challenge. This Friday, the Panthers face a tremendously talented, and perhaps underrated (Gainesville) Eastside team at home in the FHSAA Playoffs.

"They (Eastside) are a very athletic team," he said. "They are a good team. They have so much speed. They can really fly to the ball. We've faced a couple of teams like that before, Hoover and St. Augustine, so we've seen that type of talent before."

The Panthers two losses this season were to Hoover and St. Augustine. Friday night's game should present quite a difficult challenge for Nease. The winner will face the winner of the Lynn Haven Mosley/Pace game.

While the outcome of games in Ponte Vedre and Gainesville remain in doubt. The south endzone of "The Swamp" should provide Gators fans with a potential glimpse of the future. Just look for the red circle around the Bull's Eye in Tebow.

Fightin Gators Top Stories