"Oh, by the way, let's do it again. I'm coming back," Tim Tebow, the Florida quarterback said at a celebration at the Swamp yesterday.
When I read that Tebow was coming back, I have to admit I wasn't really shocked, but I was very impressed. His decision is something that many athletes can learn from and emulate.
After celebrating his second National title as a Gator and with one Heisman Trophy in his back pocket, one would ask, "What else does he really have to accomplish on the college level?" Well, he could become the most decorated college football player of all time, if he were to will his team to a 3rd National Championship at the helm and put himself in the running for a second Heisman Trophy.
But it's about more than that for Tebow. He is coming back because he loves the college game and atmosphere. He is loyal to the University that gave him the opportunity to become a star.
"Overall, I just felt loyal to this place," Tebow said after the celebration. "I feel like I'm a role model and a lot of times people start things and don't finish them. I didn't want to be like that. I wanted to be loyal to the university. I wanted to finish what I started and play another year."
Tebow has passed on the allure of entering the NFL Draft and becoming a pro player. He has sidelined potentially millions of dollars to "be loyal to the university" and "finish what he started." That's rare to hear these days.
"It was tough because some of that stuff is tempting at the next level and everything that goes along with it, especially ending on a great note ending with the national championship and moving on from there," Tebow said. "I love these guys and coach Meyer and this program too much and I feel we can still end on a bang next year."
There are going to be people that attack his decision and criticize him for failing to cash in on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that may not be there in 2010. There are going to be the detractors that say he can't do anything to improve his draft stock by coming back for another year and coming back will only expose his faults to the NFL Scouts. There are the experts that are speculating over whether Tebow will even play QB at the NFL level (some are saying he will have to convert to the Tight End position in the league). I guess they will all have to wait to find out.
In a previous article by contributor Reeve Cononi, Coach Lyndon Debellote (AKA Coach Black) said "loyalty is what will bring [players] success in life and get them to the next level..."
Tebow probably has never heard of Coach Black, but he seems to genuinely understand the meaning of loyalty. The younger players out there should pay close attention to how Tebow acts and follow in his footsteps. He is truly in a class of his own. Despite the business implications of this decision, it is admirable one.