And so now the story proceeds from “contact” to “contract”. As in NFL. As in, will Tebow go pro, be it as a quarterback or an H-back or simply a winner?
Why should he? Money? Does a man whose only game-day fashion concern is what biblical quote to place on his eye-black (he opted for John 3:16 over Phillippians 4:13 — “Phillippians 4:13 is a good verse,” Tebow said, “but I feel that John 3:16, it just represents Christianity so well”) really covet material wealth that much? If you were to ask Tebow, he might just reply, “Matthew 19:24" (“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”).
Besides, not one defensive player on Florida’s two-deep chart is a senior, and if you happened to notice, the Gators held the Sooners to 37 points below their average on Thursday evening? Even if one or two studs (Brandon Spikes?) leave early, the Gators will be greater in 2009.
Should Tebow jump to the NFL, he will be richer while college football will be so much poorer. Earlier this week Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, also a junior in the SEC, announced that he was leaving Athens to declare for the NFL draft. Stafford projects universally as a higher draft pick than Tebow, and he seems to be a fine young man and all.
Tebow, however, has become the heartbeat of college football the past two seasons. Seldom does a person his age both play and behave with such a keen understanding of how his actions resonate … across the Gainesville campus, across the pantheon of college football, across, now, after two national championships and a Heisman Trophy in three seasons, all of American culture.
Tebow plays, and lives, as if he is on a mission. Fitting for the son of two missionaries.
In the same week that Adam “Pacman” Jones, the anti-Tebow, actually uttered the phrase, “I gotta love me some me” as he was being shown the door by the Dallas Cowboys, and possibly, the NFL, Tebow demonstrated once again that there is a much more enlightened, and successful, path.
Number 15 lingered on the field for at least 45 minutes afterward. He walked over to a corner of the stands to greet his family. He attempted to return to his teammates but was stopped in his tracks by a 10-year-old boy, Tommy Wood, who wanted a photo taken with him. He nearly made it into the tunnel but then Gator defensive coordinator Charlie Strong entreated him to pose for a shot of the two of them (a defensive coordinator asking his own QB for a picture? That’s respect.).
Everywhere Tebow walked, there were continuous valence levels of humans circumscribing him. He was bathed in contact. And that was okay. Even if he couldn’t lower his shoulder.
CFT: Former Penn State signalcaller Steven Bench joined the South Florida Bulls, he announced on Twitter.
CFT: The University of Nevada is honoring longtime coach Chris Ault, who stepped down in the fall, by renaming the school's football field after him.
BCS Championship Game
Top images from No. 1 Florida's 24-14 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma
Video: Football from NBC Sports
HBO Real Sports: Bill O'Brien
Penn State football coach and 2012 National Coach of the Year shares the challenges in turning around a program shattered by scandal. Real Sports premieres Tuesday, May 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
BCS title game
Pregame color, key plays and other moments from 'Bama's blowout win.
Check out the action from the postseason.
Check out which players were best of the best at each position.
Check out some of the college football cheerleaders from across the country.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
FINAL TOP 5 IN 2009 POLLS
Take a look at Florida's star quarterback on and off the field.