The University of Florida first fielded a football team in 1906. Over the course of their history, the Florida Gators have won 714 games, 22 bowl games, eight conference titles and three national titles. The program is notorious for recruiting amazing coaches and developing south Florida’s finest athletes, as well as their national recruiting presence, into elite NFL talents.
With all that success, only five players have ever been inducted into Florida’s Ring of Honor. The steep criteria for admission into the exclusive club is reserved for only the most elite athletes to ever wear the orange and blue. On Saturday, when the No. 22 Florida Gators host the No. 5 LSU Tigers, a sixth player will be invited into the Ring of Honor.
Quarterback Tim Tebow isn’t just one of the greatest players in Florida football history, he’s widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in SEC history. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner was a member of two BCS National Championship teams, two SEC Championship teams, and was named an All-American three times, twice to the First-Team.
By the end of Tebow’s collegiate career, he owned five NCAA records, 28 school records, and multiple conference marks including records for career pass efficiency rating and career rushing touchdowns.
Put all that together, and you’ve got an all-time legend. Tebow is being rewarded with the highest honor in Florida football history, joining the most elite Gators to ever play in Gainesville.
The criteria to merit consideration into the Ring of Honor is steep, reserved for only the most accomplished players:
— Heisman Trophy Winners
— Former Florida All-Americans Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame
— Former Florida All-Americans Owning All-Time NFL Records
— Collegiate Career Statistical Leaders
— National Championship Winning Coaches
— Players With Two or More Consensus All-American Honors Also Named National Players of the Year
The other members of Florida’s Ring of Honor include the NFL’s all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith, 1966 Heisman winner and 1996 National Championship coach Steve Spurrier, 1996 Heisman winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel, NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Jack Youngblood, and 1983 National Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-American linebacker Wilber Marshall.
The only other former Gators who could merit these type of accolades would be two-time national champion head coach Urban Meyer and current Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, an All-American at Florida who could be headed for Canton when he retires.
Joining these legends is nothing short of the highest honor any Gator could receive. Giving it to Tebow during a huge college football game against SEC rival LSU, who Tebow’s team beat three out of four times they played, is the ultimate power play, too.
It’ll be awesome seeing Tebow honored in front of Gator Nation at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET.