- (Photo: Reuters)
Tim Tebow has reiterated his interest in being a quarterback in the NFL after it was announced this week that he has been hired by ESPN as a college football analyst for the SEC Network.
The former Florida Gators quarterback said during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday that although he is grateful and excited for his new opportunity with the ESPN network, he still wishes to continue his career as a quarterback long term. The 26-year-old began playing for the NFL in 2010 for the Denver Broncos, and then moved on to the New York Jets where he endured a tougher spell. Over the 2013 preseason period he played with the New England Patriots but was dropped before the regular season got underway.
Tebow told reporters he still trains five days a week, saying: "I feel like I'm the best that I've ever been as a quarterback right now, and I hope I get the opportunity to show that."
The NFL free agent went on to add that he is excited about his ESPN opportunity, saying "but who knows what the next few months will hold?"
Tebow's contract as an analyst for ESPN includes an out clause that allows the athlete to leave the network should a team express interest in recruiting him.
Tebow added on Tuesday that he hopes to be both an objective and positive analyst for EPSN: "I would love to continue to be someone that is positive but also be someone that is objective," Tebow said.
"I have never had a hard time saying what I believe or standing up for something, and hopefully, I can continue to be that same person as an analyst and sharing what I believe about players, about teams, about games."
The evangelical football player will be serving as an analyst for "SEC Nation," where he will travel to league campuses each week to host a Saturday morning pre-game show. While working as a network analyst, Tebow will also contribute to other ESPN sports programs, such as "SportsCenter" and ESPN Radio.
Tebow released a statement Monday announcing his excitement at the new opportunity: "I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity. When I was 6 years old, I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC."
Justin Connolly, ESPN's senior vice president of programming for college networks, added in a statement that Tebow "is an SEC icon with a national fan base and broad appeal. He will be a significant contributor to the compelling content we will deliver with the SEC Network. Tim brings a wealth of knowledge about the game, the conference and the passion among SEC fans."
The NFL quarterback will begin his new analyst gig when Texas A&M opens the 2014 college football season at South Carolina in August.