Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has surgery on non-throwing shoulder

Quarterback Tim Tebow, with coach Urban Meyer, is expected 
to recover fully after surgery on his right, non-throwing shoulder.

Associated Press

Quarterback Tim Tebow, with coach Urban Meyer, is expected to recover fully after surgery on his right, non-throwing shoulder.

GAINESVILLE — Florida QB Tim Tebow had arthroscopic surgery on his right, non-throwing shoulder Monday morning to remove a bone spur and chronic inflammation related to an injury he sustained in the Kentucky game on Oct. 20, 2007. He aggravated it again this season.

"The surgery went well," team physician Pete Indelicato said. "He should be able to begin throwing in the next three to four weeks, and a full recovery is expected."

Tebow, 21, completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,746 yards with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. And he led the team in rushing for the second straight year, gaining 673 yards and scoring 12 times.

Calathes honored: Sophomore G Nick Calathes on Monday was named the SEC player of the week after averaging 19 points, 8.5 rebounds, eight assists and 3.5 steals in Gator victories over Longwood and Ole Miss last week.

Calathes has led UF in scoring four consecutive games, including 19 in the conference opener against the Rebels on Saturday. He had eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals in that game and helped seal the win with a late steal then four consecutive free throws. He just missed a triple double against Longwood with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

"It's a great honor, but I just hope we keep winning, to be honest with you," Calathes said. "I share it with the team. It wasn't just me."

Twist of fate: David Nelson's late touchdown in Florida's win over Oklahoma in the BCS title game was unusually satisfying.

The junior wide receiver caught a 4-yard pass that gave the Gators their final 10-point lead.

Interestingly, Nelson is a lifelong Texas fan who used to root for the Longhorns with his dad, Roy Nelson Jr. Nelson grew up hating the Sooners even though his mom, Karen Belcoff, is an Oklahoma grad.

"Knowing the tradition Oklahoma has and growing up hating, well not hating, but disliking Oklahoma, that made it a very special game for me," Nelson said.

As for that jump pass Nelson caught from Tebow? It's not as easy as you might think.

"The ball comes at a different angle," Nelson said. "He's (Tebow) way up here, and it's coming down. It took a little practice to get my hands adjusted to it. He's a left-handed quarterback, but he's 10 feet in the air, and he's throwing it down at me. I'm 6 feet 6 and it's hard to get down for it."

Redemption: That former Armwood standout Torrey Davis was playing in the championship game was fairly remarkable. That the sophomore defensive lineman made a touchdown-saving play was even more remarkable. Davis has struggled since arriving in Gainesville, having overcome suspensions and academic and disciplinary problems. But he said he has learned from his mistakes.

"I'm so happy," he said after Thursday's game. "I really have had a bad season, in terms of football, school and everything going wrong. But I feel like I've changed my life around. And good things happen when you start to do good things."

Asked how he would describe Davis' turnaround late in the season, UF coach Urban Meyer said: "Wow."

"We walked out on the field four minutes before game time and we were squeezed into that tunnel," Meyer said. "He looked over and said, 'Coach, I appreciate you.' That's the best conversation we've had since he's been here; it's not been very pleasant. I think he's changing. I think he's really, sincerely interested in getting an education from Florida. If that happens, you could have a great player."

Newton's status: Meyer said he will meet with suspended backup QB Cameron Newton this week about his status with the team. Newton apparently plans to transfer.

No secret: While Tebow's decision to return surprised some of the 41,000 in attendance at Sunday's championship celebration, his offensive linemen were clued in just before the event began.

"Before he announced it to everybody else, he wanted to tell his offensive linemen," sophomore OL Mike Pouncey said. "It means a lot for our team, program, just everything. Tim is going to be a big key for us next year. I think he's a great college football player, and he made the right decision."

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has surgery on non-throwing shoulder 01/12/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 12, 2009 6:32pm]

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