Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow says concussion a lesson in humility

GAINESVILLE — His memory temporarily left him and didn't begin to return fully until sometime after he arrived at a hospital in Kentucky suffering from a concussion. His phone calls included former NFL players who wanted to offer support and advice.

Most of all, the experience of suffering his first concussion, and the aftermath of the recovery, has given Florida QB Tim Tebow an even greater appreciation of the gift of playing major college football.

"I think it was very humbling because you know at any moment it can be over," Tebow said Monday. "And it was not something that I could fight through. It doesn't matter how tough you are. Instantly, it's lights out and you don't know how much football you have left. So it's a blessing to get back on the field, and you realize how much you do love the game and how much you love playing. That's honestly what I missed the most, not being able to go out there and practice and play. I realized how much I do love the game."

During the two weeks Tebow spent recovering, former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Steve Young — who had seven concussions in his career, four in his final three NFL seasons — offered the best advice.

"The one person who really gave me a lot of encouragement and I talked to several times was Steve Young," Tebow said. "He went through it a lot with concussions, and he was very kind in reaching out to me and talking to me. He gave me different things that could possibly help with it, and just getting back and encouraging me, which was very kind of him and something he didn't have to do. But I really appreciated it."

Signs of maturity: Despite seemingly nonstop distractions this season, UF will prepare for homecoming against Arkansas still No. 1 and undefeated.

"This whole season has been a lot of stuff," coach Urban Meyer said. "Every week it seems like something is showing up. You emotionally have got to be in the right place, mentally have got to be in the right place, you've got to handle yourself and be able to get through the adversity that hits every team. Some teams don't handle adversity very well. That's when you lose games. And our guys seem to handle it. Their maturity is really showing."

Calling out Spikes: Senior LB Brandon Spikes was named SEC defensive player of the week based on his performance in Saturday's 13-3 win over LSU. Spikes had a team- and season-high 11 tackles, including a career-high three sacks for a loss of 14 yards. Turns out, he was extra motivated to perform after he was publicly called out by ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. During Saturday's College GameDay telecast, the analyst said DE Carlos Dunlap and "No. 51" (Spikes) needed to step up and play better for the Gators to win.

"(Spikes) just heard about it, and he knew he had to go step up and meet the expectations because he got called out on national TV," Dunlap said.

CB Joe Haden said, "Spikes said Coach (Charlie) Strong probably called Herbstreit and told him to call him out" but that the senior was out to prove he's still the dominant player he was last season, despite battling an Achilles' problem this year.

Meyer welcomes the public criticism of his players.

"When you call out 8 and 51, I love when that happens," he said. "If someone wants to call out Tebow, help yourself. Call out Coop (Riley Cooper), I'm good with that, too. Make yourself at home. It helps our job. Those guys aren't lacking confidence."

Game times set: Saturday's game against Arkansas will be at 3:30 p.m. and televised on Ch. 10. The Oct. 24 game at Mississippi State has been set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and will be on ESPN or ESPN2.

Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow says concussion a lesson in humility 10/12/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 12, 2009 7:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.