- (Photo: Twitter/koinonia77)
Tim Tebow's highly-anticipated convocation speech at Liberty University on Friday has been described by students as "inspirational" and "amazing," with many taking to Twitter to express their excitement at witnessing the evangelical NFL player speak at their school.
While Tebow's speech took place at the private, Christian university at 10 a.m., photos posted on Twitter show a line of students stretching for blocks outside of the university's auditorium hours before the event, hoping to get a good seat for the athlete's convocation talk.
Many tweets indicated that Tebow, who was described by some students as a "role model," received an endless amount of applause from those in attendance, especially from the female members of the audience.
Others sought to share some snippets of Tebow's talk with the rest of the Twittersphere, evidently feeling inspired by his statements.
"I honestly do think Tim Tebow is an amazing man of God. Thankful for the chance to hear him speak," tweeted one Liberty University student.
"Don't be normal, be an example," another student quoted Tebow as saying at the convocation.
"In the end, football is just a silly game. Greatness comes from serving," Tebow reportedly told the crowd, according to another Tweet by a university student.
Tebow, who is currently the quarterback for the New York Jets, faced criticism for his decision to speak at university, located in Lynchburg, Va., with some arguing that the university's traditional stance on marriage, which seeks to preserve marriage between one man and one woman, is "anti-gay."
Earlier this month, Tebow pulled out of a speaking arrangement at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas after liberal commentators argued that the church's pastor, Robert Jeffress, was "anti-gay" for also agreeing with the biblical teachings regarding homosexuality and marriage.
Still, in spite of an online petition urging Tebow to cancel his speaking engagement at Liberty, the sports star fulfilled his commitment, evidently to the satisfaction of students.
Liberty University is one of the largest evangelical colleges in the world, founded in 1971 by televangelist and Southern Baptist leader Jerry Falwell.
The university was recently described by The Washington Post as an "evangelical mega-university with global reach" due to its extensive online program.
Tebow will continue his stay at the university this weekend to participate in the Wildfire Weekend for Men conference, taking place at the university's Vines Center and featuring Willie Robertson from the A&E reality show "Duck Dynasty," as well as former major league baseball pitcher John Smoltz, among others.
The men's only conference is described on its official website as a "weekend where men, life, God, and the great outdoors come together."