Former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation announced on Monday.
He becomes the 13th overall Gator and the 10th Florida player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, according to a press release from the university. The former Gator quarterback joined a class of 18 former college players to be selected to the Hall of Fame this year.
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Tebow, an outspoken Christian, started publicly professing his faith in Jesus Christ during his time as a Florida Gator.
During the National Championship Game in 2009, the quarterback wrote “John 3:16” in black under his eyes.
Found in the Bible’s New Testament, John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
After the game, John 3:16 was googled 90 million times, according to the website Seedbed.
Tebow also won the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 2007. He was the first college sophomore in NCAA history to win the award. He was also named a finalist for the Heisman in 2008 and 2009. He won two national championships while playing for the University of Florida in 2006 and 2008.
Instead of relegating his Heisman to a display case or a closet as some celebrities do, Tebow continues to put his trophy to good use by raising funds for charitable causes.
As CBN News reported last September, he told Paul Pabst of The Dan Patrick Show that he auctions off his Heisman Trophy every year and the winner gets to keep the award for a year. The annual auction of the Heisman Trophy has raised almost a million dollars for various charities over the past decade. Country singer Luke Bryan is currently in possession of the trophy, Tebow said.
In 2010, Tebow began the nonprofit Tim Tebow Foundation headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. The foundation’s mission statement is: The Tim Tebow Foundation exists to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. It currently has four ministries, including Special Needs, Orphan Care + Prevention, Children with Profound Medical Needs, and Anti-Human Trafficking.
While only playing three seasons as a quarterback in the NFL, he left his mark on professional sports, not by his accomplishments on the field, but by getting down on one knee on the sidelines and praying. This action became known as “Tebowing” and was coined by entrepreneur and avid Denver Broncos fan, Jared Kleinstein, in October 2011. Tebowing is defined as “to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different,” according to Tebowing.com.
Last March, the New York Times Bestselling author released his first devotional titled Mission Impossible: Go Create a Life That Counts. In the book, Tebow encourages others to use their God-given gifts and talents to serve others.
“I believe every single one of us can truly have a life that counts because as long we have breath, we have a purpose,” he told CBN. “And the God of this universe has created us all unique, all different, but all with a plan and with a purpose. And I believe it is a mission.”
In his book, Tebow lays out practical steps to help people answer God’s call.
“Has God ever opened your eyes to a person, to a need, to an injustice, to a non-profit, to an organization, to a church,” he asked. “Has He ever pricked your heart to do something about it? If so, what He is probably saying is ‘I want you to meet that need’.”
Tebow also created A Night to Shine a “prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs”. The organization has reached more than 100,000 lives in 40 countries.
“When we started that mission we had no idea what God was going to do,” he shared. “It started small and God continued to grow it.”
Tebow encourages people to step out and trust God.
“A big part of it is stepping out in faith,” he explained.
“I wanted to encourage people to know that there is a mission for your life,” Tebow added, “so when you know that there is a mission for your life and God has given you a mission, then you know you have a purpose.”
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