Tim Tebow will continue chasing his dream of being an NFL quarterback, but in the meantime he will launch ESPN’s SEC Network this fall.
The former Florida All-American, who was cut by the New England Patriots before this season, said Tuesday he still trains five days a week.
“I have been training very hard over the course of the last few months—five days a week—and 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,” he said in a conference call, according to Sports Illustrated. “But I'm also looking forward to being part of SEC Nation and part of ESPN.”
The 26-year-old, who also played for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets, signed on Monday to be on the SEC Network’s pregame show starting in August. His first SEC Nation program will air on Aug. 28 before Texas A&M starts its season at South Carolina, a game that will be shown exclusively on the SEC Network.
Additionally, Tebow will offer commentary on ESPN, starting with the Jan. 6 BCS National Championship Game, where Auburn will take on Florida State University.
“I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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 senior vice president for college networks programming added: “Tim 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.”
Tebow hinted at the fact that he may leave the network if an opportunity rises to play in the NFL again.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future. I’m not sure what's ahead of me,” he said. “I’m very excited to have this opportunity at ESPN, but who knows what the next few months will hold?”
Connolly said Tebow was important enough to ESPN that it accepted he might not be done with the NFL.
“In terms of specific situations, I don't want to get ahead of ourselves and comment on any particular eventuality or scenario that you could put together,” he said. “But that's a key piece of this relationship and we're going to honor that and respect it.”
Connolly was asked in the conference call whether Tebow’s faith—which has been a large part of his career since he wore stickers with Bible verses on his eye patches in college—would be part of his analysis. Connolly said Tebow was hired for his knowledge of football and the SEC.
“That's what the audience expects from him,” Connolly said.
ESPN’s new network is named after the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference, in which Tebow played during college as a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the University of Florida.