Following his last season where he set school and state records for passing yards, touchdowns and more, the trickle of recruiting attention has went to drizzle and now, downpour. Already his shoe-box is full of offers, letters of interest, media guides and various other promotional materials from one coast to the other. The admiration of what he has done is so intense, that ala Ryan Perrilloux of last year, Tebow's name is expected to be sitting at the top of the list in regards to the best quarterbacks in the country, perhaps number one overall.
Even for someone that has been courted since the start of their junior year, you'd have to think that this early attention is daunting to say the least. "It's something I didn't expect, I know that," Tebow said. "We had a good year and everyone likes to talk about my statistics, but I guess until all this stuff starts really happening, you don't think about it too much."
Of course, the attention hasn't just started happening as Tebow has been receiving letters of interest since before he can recall, but when you score 70 touchdowns (45 passing, 24 rushing), put up over 5,500 yards in total offense (4,286 passing, 1,266 rushing) in one season, letters by the box now become letters by the truckload. "Yeah, it's been a lot," Tim said of the ever increasing attention. "It's an honor and I'm just thankful that I have been able to do the things I have done and have been on the kind of team I am playing so that we are able to do well as a team."
Right there is the mind-set of Tebow as he's taken the glut of attention on his individual play and deferred most of his success to the contributions of teammates and coaches. That said, though, there's no denying what a singular wonder this young man is. From being able to pass the ball deep, short, across his body, his release points varying as much as the routes being ran in his team's "spread" offense, It's not just efficiency that boosts Tebow up the list as possible the best quarterback in the country, but his versatility as well.
When it comes to being able to run and throw effectively, this Florida standout can do it all. "I like being able to have that kind of versatility that defenses simply can't play me one way," Tim said. "I'm not Michael Vick, but I can run well enough that teams have to at least respect it and as long as the defense doesn't catch you, it doesn't matter how fast on paper someone says you are."
Yes, Tebow is no Michael Vick in terms of sheer velocity, but for a 6 foot, 3 inch quarterback that weighs around 220 pounds, running a reported 4.5 is nothing anyone is going to look at and then look away.
It's the full package that Tebow has and he projects into virtually any system around. If you want to run "pro-style", he's there, "spread"- he's got that covered and he's not above running the "option" ever now and then. Basically, it's not the duties, rather the position that matters most. "There's nothing you can be taught out there that won't make you better as a quarterback in some way," Tim said. "My coaches have done a wonderful job of putting a system in place that's catered to what everyone does, not just me. But, with what they teach me within what the system demands, I learn how to make reads better, how to read defenses better, so when the season is done, I am better than I was before it started."
"That's what matters, because that means we are a better all-around team."
That simple yet effective mind-set translates to the colleges Tebow is looking at, Tim concentrating less on the frills and more on the substance that pertains to his position. You have great facilities? Great. You have a wonderfully landscaped campus that appeals to any that see it? Fine. Can you make him a better quarterback? No?
"That's one of the biggest things for me, because I want to leave there a better quarterback than I was when I came in," Tim said. "I want to get along with my quarterback coach, but know that he's going to teach me all the things I need to know to have success at that level and maybe beyond."
"So, it's important to me that before I look at all that other stuff, I see how the relationship develops with me and my position coach, because that's who I am going to be really close to for the next four or so years."
The familiarity is always the bottom line for any recruit as they look at the schools around the country. To that end, Tebow's early list, while still daunting is made up mainly of schools he's had a chance to see firsthand. Those aren't the only schools, because Tim is aware of what date it is now and how long he has before he could make his decision. It's all still very up in the air. "There's a ton of schools that I have visited, so they are probably going to be amongst my early favorites," Tim said. "But, that's because I have seen them, I know more about them and until I have a chance to see other schools, It's hard to see who is going to be on or off my list."
That process could happen to an extent this summer, but when it comes to camps, there's only one that really concerns Tebow at this time, that being his team camp, where he gets another opportunity to work with the players he'll be vying for a state with his final year of prep-ball. Outside of that, it's currently up in the air. "If I get invited, I might attend the "Elite 11" camp, but that's about all I have thought about right now." He said.
That's the problem for Tebow right now. It's the fact that he's not even totally into his so-called off-season and he's already got so much to think about. 20-plus schools with the promise that after the evaluation period in May and before his senior season actually arrives, that amount could double, triple or even more.
That is a battle in and of itself, one that while Tebow has tried to put it into perspective, realizes that the mountainous task he has in trying to narrow a list that's already immense won't be an easy one at all. "It would be nice to have that one visit or meet that one coach that gives you this feeling that this is the perfect place to be and that's it, recruiting is over," Tim said. "But, since I'm not really thinking that is going to happen, we are prepared to take a look at every school I am realistically considering and make sure that there are no questions unanswered when I finally make a decision."
"That probably means this is going to take awhile, but between my dad and my coaches, I know that I'll get through all of this and make a good choice in the end."
So much is made nowadays of top-ranked prospects and that doesn't mean that these are guys sitting on more offers than there are states in the country. For those fortunate few, the attention, adoration and pressure is exponentially increased. That's what Tebow has just had a taste of and what he'll get full platters of as the year progresses. Tebow, though, he's got his feet firmly planted right where he thinks they should be.
"I look at all this as a compliment to what our team has done," he said. "Without them, I don't put up those numbers and without them, I just don't have the success that I did. So, if someone wants to rank me a certain place, it's great if it's up there, but I know that it has been because of the guys around me."
"They deserve a lot of the credit to."