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5 memorable Tim Tebow moments with Florida Gators

Former Heisman Trophy winner signs with Jacksonville Jaguars
Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow celebrates on sideline of 2009 BCS National Championship
Posted at 11:56 AM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 11:56:41-04

Now that Tim Tebow has officially signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, takes a look at five moments that helped to cement his legacy as one of the all-time great football players in the history of the Florida Gators.

The Speech, Sept. 28, 2008

Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow sacked by Mississippi Rebels defensive end Greg Hardy, Sept. 27, 2008
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is sacked by Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy during the first half of game Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008, in Gainsville, Fla. The Rebels upset the Gators 31-30.

Perhaps the only loss that winds up on an athlete's crowning moments reel, Tebow's failed fourth-and-1 effort against Mississippi with less than a minute to go and his team trailing 31-30 led to a postgame speech that would serve as motivation for his team's 10-game winning streak and eventual national championship. The unranked Rebels upset the No. 4 Gators in "the Swamp," but it took a backseat to Tebow's words:

"You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season, and you'll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season. You'll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless."

The Paint Game, Nov. 29, 2008

Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow celebrates TD at Florida State Seminoles, Nov. 29, 2008
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates his second-quarter touchdown during a rivalry game against Florida State, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida won 45-15.

Rivalry games are usually meaningful, but Florida's 45-15 rout at Florida State was lacking in the drama department. It's probably best remembered as the game in which Tebow rose from Florida State's muddy end zone after a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter covered in mud and garnet paint. Two plays earlier, Florida State fans had cheered as Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin limped to the sideline with an ankle injury. After dragging a horde of FSU defenders with him, a paint-soaked Tebow stood up in the rain and got his payback, taunting the home crowd and improving to 3-0 in his career against the Seminoles.

The Jump Pass, Oct. 7, 2006

Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow reacts at LSU Tigers, Oct. 7, 2006
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow reacts after running inside LSU's 5-yard line during the first half of a game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, in Gainesville, Fla. Tebow scored on a one-yard run several plays later.

This might have been the game that put the nation on notice that Tebow would be a threat for years to come. On a second-and-goal play with less than 30 seconds remaining before halftime against Louisiana State, Tebow appeared to be headed toward the end zone before pulling up and tossing a one-yard jump pass to Tate Casey that gave the Gators the lead for good. Not only was Tebow a perfect 2-for-2 passing with the first of his two touchdown passes of his career, but he also ran for a score in the 23-10 victory.

The Heisman, Dec. 8, 2007

Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow poses after winning Heisman Trophy in 2006
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow stands behind the Heisman Trophy after winning the award Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, in New York.

Between winning a pair of national championships, Tebow took home the Heisman Trophy in 2007. After spending the previous season in a situational role as the backup to Chris Leak, Tebow took over as the starter just two years removed from breaking several state high school records. All he did was become the first player in Football Bowl Subdivision history to rush for at least 20 touchdowns and throw for at least 20 more in a single season. Oh, he also became the first sophomore to win the award given to the most outstanding player in college football.

The Two-Time Champion, Jan. 8, 2009

Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow signals TD in fourth quarter of 2009 BCS National Championship
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow signals a touchdown after David Nelson scored in the fourth quarter of the BCS National Championship game against Oklahoma, Jan. 8, 2009, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Tebow capped off his second national championship -- Florida's third overall -- in three seasons with a 24-14 victory over Oklahoma at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida. Tebow outplayed Oklahoma quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, connecting with receiver David Nelson for the game-winning score in the final minutes of the 2009 BCS National Championship.