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It was very much the typical first day trials and tribulations that all freshmen quarterbacks endure- both heralded and walk-ons. Good decisions, bad decisions, and indecisions. Under throws, perfect throws, and an occasional overthrow. But, it seemingly gave everybody the warm and fuzzies just to see him out there. Why not? He only re-wrote many of the state passing records and just happened to run an offense similar to that of Urban Meyer.
The 6-3 229 southpaw played before a crowd, who journeyed to the Gators practice field in droves to see him take those first snaps and release the first pass into the waiting arms of a Florida wide receiver. They did the same thing when Danny Wuerffel, Eric Kresser, Bobby Sabelhaus, Doug Johnson, Tim Olmstead, Rex Grossman, Brock Berlin, and Chris Leak suited up for the first time in the Orange and Blue. Among those who were on hand to support him were his father, Bob Tebow and Coach Howard from Nease High School.
Tim Tebow at practice today (Tim Casey)
Tebow was sharp throwing the ball to receivers one-on-one before the defensive backs went into man coverage. He has quick feet in setting up to throw and used a quick release to fire the ball downfield. Tebow hit a consecutive string of passes that pleased many in the crowd.
Once the seven-on-seven drills began he obviously struggled a little with the timing and speed of the defensive backs. Don't worry- everybody does.
He held the ball a little too long on a few throws when he struggled to make the right decision and underthrew a few passes because of that speed. He was not allowed to speak with the media afterward, but you can bet two things- Tim Tebow was very impressed with the speed of the Florida defense and that he had fun.
He'll work to make the necessary adjustments to the speed that makes Southeastern Conference football among the finest in the nation. He will also watch film to make certain where he is going with the football. I'll say that he did not make as many poor decisions with the football as I'd expected or experienced watching other freshmen in their first practice.
His finest play of the day occurred when he took the ball and saw tight end/H-back Cornelius Ingram get off of the line and run right. Tebow faked the ball, stepped to the left and set up looking off the defensive backs. He then turned and fired the ball to Ingram, who hauled in the picture perfect pass just before he got to the sideline. The play was superb, especially considering the outstanding coverage by Santa Fe Community College junior transfer Lorenzo Campbell, who runs pretty well.
While hearts continue to break in Tuscaloosa- there is no question that Tebow was the most welcome sight on the Florida practice field. You can bet that he was glad to be there- but not as glad as Gators fans everywhere.