Tebow a Top Name For 2006

The Irish will certainly be looking for a top quarterback in their next recruiting class as Notre Dame will still be limited in quality depth at the position. Irish Eyes has already looked at a couple of likely targets on Notre Dame's wish list for 2006, but let's take a look at another top quarterback who is certain to be a top target on most lists in 2006, Tim Tebow.

Irish Eyes attended the Army combine a few weeks ago, and one of the top quarterbacks on the day was Tim Tebow. Tebow is listed as 6-3, 220-pounds, and he certainly passes the eye test. Tebow showed why he is considered one of the top targets in the nation with a live arm and some excellent mobility.

The St. Augustine, Fla native broke a number of Florida passing records as a junior. Tebow threw for state-record 4,286 yards and 46 TDs, and also rushed for 1,266 yards and 24 TDs for an 11-2 team.

The good news for Irish fans is that Tebow has already taken the time to visit Notre Dame.

"Yes sir," said Tebow when asked if he's been to Notre Dame. "It's has a rich tradition. There was definitely a lot of enthusiasm. It was very exciting being there.

"We went for the Boston College game this year. It was a good game, and I think they'll definitely get better. It was a good time."

Tebow says he's staying open at this point when it comes to his favorite schools, but also added Notre Dame is a school he's interested in.

"There's a lot of schools we're going to consider," Tebow said. "A school like Notre Dame has to be up there just because the tradition, all the wins they have, the National Championships, and everything they have. You have to consider a school like that.

"I don't know what's going to happen with this coaching change. Coach Weis might come in there and do a great job. They could be in the big-time pretty soon."

Coach Craig Howard is Tebow's coach at Nease high school in St. Augustine, Fla. Howard says Tebow has meant the world to his football team.

"We've been blessed to have a quarterback like Timmie Tebow," Howard said of his junior quarterback. "He's a gifted athlete that loves to compete and win. He plays his best in the biggest games and that's what makes him so special.

"Timmie helped this program go from homecoming games to playoff games. He assumed a leadership role as a sophomore, and he has the best work ethic I've ever seen in 31 years of coaching."

We asked coach Howard what Tebow's best attributes are as a quarterback.

"He's obviously a gifted passer," Howard said. "But his competitive spirit, great decision-making, leadership, and physical and mental toughness to make the big plays are what makes him so great. He wants to play the perfect game every game. He wants to be the best that ever played."

Howard didn't stop there in his praise for Tebow.

"Let me tell you a story," Howard said. "In the ninth game of his sophomore season, we were down 17-0 and he was sacked and he came out of the game. He said ‘coach, my leg is really hurting.' I said to him, ‘Timmie, you've got to toughen up. This is what great players are made of.'

"Timmie goes back in the game and throws for 300 yards and ran in a 29-yard touchdown to tie the game. After the game we have him x-rayed and we find out he's got a broken leg. It wasn't a hairline fracture, it was a jagged break. I felt terrible as a coach. I couldn't believe I did that--told him he needed to toughen up. The kid played almost an entire game on a broken leg, and ran in a 29-yard touchdown on a broken leg. That should tell you how tough that kid is."

Toughness isn't the only thing Tebow is about.

"His daddy is a Baptist missionary in the Philippines," Howard said of Tebow's father. "Every year Timmie spends a month in the Philippines helping his daddy on a mission with all of his brothers and sisters. It really has helped him grow into the neat kid he really is. He has such a charisma about him, and I think that experience has really rounded him into the great person he is today."

Most of the top junior quarterbacks attend camps throughout the summer, but Tebow says he'll like just attend one camp this year due to his prior commitment to his father

"I'm going to be gone for three weeks on a mission's trip in the Philippines in July," said Tebow when asked if he'd camp anywhere this summer. "I might do the Elite 11 camp. Other than that, I'm probably just going to throw with my receivers. My goal right now is to win a state championship."

Plenty of schools will be courting Tebow in the near future and Howard said his top prospect already has seven offers under his belt. One school likely to get a long look will be the Florida Gators.

"I grew up a Florida fan," said Tebow when asked who his favorite team was growing up. "My mom and dad went there. My brother is attending there now. I've always been partial to the Gators, but in this recruiting thing, I'm open to all schools. I know people don't believe me, but I really am staying open-minded.

"I like coach Meyer, and he seems like a great guy, but you've got to find the place for you. You've got to find a place where you can play. You've got to like the quarterback coach as well as the head coach. There's a lot that you have to look into."

Comments: Tebow plays in a multiple formation offense and runs every play out of the shotgun in high school so he's an ideal fit for the offense Meyer will run in Florida. However, he does seem very open to a number of schools, and made a point to let me know he was when asked about his favorites. In the end, we do believe Florida will be very difficult to beat, but Tebow says he's going to take a strong look at a number of schools before deciding.

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