Not many prospects receive national acclaim midway through their junior seasons,
but that's exactly what Tim Tebow has accomplished. In fact Michigan has been recruiting him for a year now already, including, according to Tebow, with several visits to his school from quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler and Head Coach Lloyd Carr.
In fact, Coach Loeffler was spotted again, at Tebow's basketball game, just two days ago, on Tuesday. And, the visits from U-M have been reciprocated as well, as GBW's following interview with Timothy while at the U.S. Army Junior Combine indicates.
Last weekend, the Florida quarterback measured in at 6-2, 1/2, 218 lbs. and displayed the talents that will place him the running for the distinction of top signal caller in the class of 2006. He reminded the GBW Guys of Chad Henne with his strong, accurate arm and sturdy build (and maybe slightly more agility) ... he has a more outgoing nature than Henne, but with a similar easy air of confidence to him.
Though he would not mention a list of schools at the combine, it is widely known that many of the country's top programs have already extended offers to the record setting quarterback. One glance at his junior year stats and it is easy to see why. In leading his team to an 11-2 record and the third round of the state playoffs, Tebow passed for 4,286 yards and 46 TDs against only six interceptions. For good measure, the athletic field general added an additional 1,266 yards for 24 touchdowns on the ground, good for a total of 70 TDs! Those numbers were good enough to set single season records in the state of Florida for passing yards, total yards, and passing touchdowns.
The Michigan Wolverines have shown steady interest in Tebow for some time now and the young man has definitely taken notice. "It's a great program," Tebow said of Michigan. "I went up there and really liked Coach Loeffler. He has come down to visit three or four times. I really like him and Coach Carr. I just really like the program and what they're doing."
Loeffler's ability to connect with Chad Henne during the Pennsylvania native's recruitment was key in bringing him into the fold for the Wolverines. When speaking with Tebow, it's obvious that the fourth year Michigan quarterbacks coach has made an impression on him as well. So too has Michigan's willingness to give Henne an opportunity to play right away … something Tebow indicated he would like the chance to do as well. "He is going to play the best player," Tebow said of Loeffler. "Henne is a great quarterback so he'll have the job as long as he wants it, but he'll probably be in the draft after three years. That would definitely open up some opportunities to play, but you can't be afraid of competition. You have to your eyes open and look around to see where you're going to play, but anywhere you go you're going to have to beat out someone to play. You just have to have that mindset that, 'Hey, I'm going to try to win this job and do whatever it takes.'"
That confidence coupled with his talent that has major colleges beating down his door. The in-state schools have obviously been on him the longest. While he insists there is no current bias toward any one of them, one of the three major Sunshine State programs did stick out in his mind growing up. "We visited all three," Tebow said of the Florida schools. "We liked them. We had a good time at all of them. I grew up a fan of Florida. My mom and dad went there and my brother is attending school there."
Though he has only been on the job a few weeks, new Gator coach Urban Meyer has already made it a point to make contact. "I really like him so far," Tebow said of the new headman in Gainesville. "He is doing a great job recruiting and he has only been there a few weeks. I really enjoyed him. He seems like a great coach and I think he is going to do a good job at Florida, but I'm not really favoring any school. You've got to have an open mind. You don't want to just narrow it down and say, 'I'm a Florida fan so I'm going to go there' because that might not be the right place for me."
With no list of favorites or list of offers, it's impossible to know how many schools Tebow is considering. He made it clear to everyone that asked that he is wide open at this point. That being the case, does he have a timetable for narrowing things down and making a decision? "I don't know," Tebow said. "It's just whatever I feel is the school for me. I'll commit when I figure that out. But if it doesn't happen until February 3rd…"
Tebow has already taken unofficial visits to a few schools and plans to take more. That said, there is one thing (outside of his home-schooled curriculum) that he'll be concentrating on more than anything else. "I'm taking a Michigan trip in July," Tebow said. "Besides that, I'm really going to try and throw with my receivers because they are going to be the ones catching my balls this year. My goal is to win a state championship this year. That is my first priority."