While questions remain over Tim Tebow's NFL career and the upcoming football season, reports show that the popular Christian athlete continues interacting with fans on a personal level and is gaining supporters.
A Boston Globe report on Monday noted that the 25-year-old football star continues meeting with young fans at training camp for the Patriots, much like he did during his time at the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, taking time out to talk to and interact with the public.
The report details how Tebow met with a 15-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy and selective mutism last week, something which deeply impressed her father.
"A handful of players signed autographs for Madelin," said Scott Beardsley, the girl's father who is also a Patriots fan. "Tebow was the only one to ask her name. I can't tell you what that meant to her. There's something about him, something that can make someone feel so special. Even if they meet for 10 seconds."
"I really don't know what he'll do on the field this year," Beardsley added. "But if he keeps interacting with fans like this, he'll win a lot of hearts in New England."
Tebow has spoken out about the importance of communicating with fans: "It's a very little thing that can go a long way," the Christian athlete has said. "I know, because when I was a young boy and I got Danny Wuerffel's autograph, or Emmitt Smith's autograph, what it meant to me. You want to be a good role model, someone that a young boy or young girl can look up to."
It is still unclear how Tebow will be used by the Patriots this upcoming season, if he will make the team, what position he will play, and how his career will pan out. He has held steadfast to his faith, however, and after being released by the Jets at the end of last season, the quarterback tweeted a Bible passage from Proverbs about trusting God:
"Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight," Tebow posted after the release.
The footballer has also maintained his charity efforts, with his foundation receiving a boost in June by a $200,000 donation from the Denver Mattress Company, which will go into orphanage services worldwide.
"I am passionately driven to make a difference in the lives of people who need it most and with the help of great people and amazing companies like Denver Mattress, we will make a difference," Tebow stated.