Tim Tebow has joined ESPN as a college football analyst for the SEC Network when it launches in August 2014.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tebow will begin on January 6 with pregame coverage of the BCS National Championship Game. The new position will not interfere with pursuing a career in the NFL. The Patriots dropped Tebow before the 2013 season. He is now a free agent.
“I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity,” said Tebow. “When I was six 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.”
Tebow will join talent roster Joe Tessitore (SEC Nation Host), and Paul Finebaum (The Paul Finebaum Radio Network).
“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,” said ESPN’s senior vp programming of college networks Justin Connolly. “Tim brings a wealth of knowledge about the game, the conference and the passion among SEC fans.”
There are also plans for Tebow to make appearances on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPN’s Heisman Trophy coverage.
Tebow told The Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t have any regrets… Every time I stepped on the field, I gave everything everything I had. And I’m going to approach my role on ESPN the same way.”
Tebow emphasized he has not strayed from his desire to continue his career in the NFL. He has been without a team since the start of the 2013 football season.
“I will continue to push myself to become better every single day,” he said. “If I get the opportunity to continue to play quarterback in the NFL, I’ll take it.”
Tebow, joined by Connolly and VP of production Stephanie Druley, expressed that the networks willingness to allow Tebow the opportunity to pursue other opportunities was vital in his decision.
“I’ve had a great relationship with Mr. Skipper for a while,” he said, John Skipper is ESPN president. “They didn’t want to take that away from me, they wanted to make me a part of the family.”
Tebow is considered a polarizing player best known for his character and his Christian faith.
“We acknowledge and understand that Tim’s faith is a big part of who he is,” Connolly said. “It’s part of what makes him special. At the same time, we hired him for his football opinions and his experience. It’s a piece of continuing dialogue between ESPN and Tim, but the reality is that we hired him on his ability to breakdown players and games — and that’s what the fans will expect and what the focus of the relationship will be.”
Considering Tebow is such a nice guy maybe too nice to properly comment on college football games, Druley noted, “Tim is a very nice person, as we all know, but he’s also a football junkie,” He breathes and eats the game. That’s what you look for in an analyst.”
“As someone who’s positive, I’d love to continue to be someone who is positive,” Tebow added. “I’d also like to be objective. I’ve never had a hard time saying what I believe.”