Tebow won't say retired, intrigued by coaching, politics

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2014, file photo, Tim Tebow speaks during an SEC television broadcast in Atlanta. Tim Tebow will not call himself a retired football player though he could see himself as a future coach. A career in politics is also something that could be appealing down the road. "I think I consider myself someone that is so blessed to do what I love to do and to be around the game of college football and to be able to be part of something that was so much a part of my life since I was a little boy," Tebow said Wednesday, July 27, 2016. "But also I've got a lot of different things going on right now." (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Brynn Anderson/AP

Tim Tebow will not call himself a retired football player though he could see himself as a future coach. A career in politics also could be appealing down the road.

One thing is for sure, he'll always be a Gator.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and former Florida quarterback is getting prepared to begin another season as an analyst with the SEC Network and ESPN. He also is working with the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, which honors college football players for their community service and good deeds. Tebow was a member of the 2009 Good Works Team and is now trying to put a spotlight on how other football players – such as Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson – are making a difference away from the field.

''It's even more important in this day and age, in today's culture where we have so much dividing us,'' Tebow said in a brief phone interview Wednesday. ''We have so many, 165, young people that have the pressure of competing for their schools and teams and in the classroom and they are still finding ways to help others. They are making huge impacts and changing people's lives.''

Tebow, who turns 29 next month, was a first-round draft pick for the Denver Broncos in 2010 before being traded to the New Jets in 2012. Since then he has been to training camp with New England (2013) and Philadelphia (2015), but both times was cut.

Asked if he considers himself a retired football player, Tebow laughs and affably avoids the question.

''I think I consider myself someone that is so blessed to do what I love to do and to be around the game of college football and to be able to be part of something that was so much a part of my life since I was a little boy,'' he said. ''But also I've got a lot of different things going on right now.''

His new book, ''Shaken,'' which comes out in about a month, covers the disappointments of his professional career. He is the co-host of ''Home Free,'' a Fox show in which couples compete for a home, but ultimately everyone wins. And the Tim Tebow Foundation is now in 16 countries and growing, he said.

Where does his future lie? Hard to say. Both coaching and politics are alluring.

''I love what coaching is,'' he said. ''I love the fact that coaching is teaching and it's helping and it's mentoring and it's loving and it's being a father figure. That is something that has always intrigued me.''

There were rumors and speculation that Tebow was asked to attend and speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week. He declined to address them, again politely laughing off the question.

As for a career in politics, Tebow said it fits his view of a life of service to others.

''My goal has always been able to make the biggest impact that I possible could in people's lives. If I thought this is the right avenue, this would work, then I would be totally up for going down that path. Do I feel like that's right now? No, not necessarily,'' he said. ''Could it happen in the future? Yeah, I definitely wouldn't right that off.''

Tebow helped Florida win two national championships under coach Urban Meyer, and he remains close with the Ohio State coach, his family and members of the Buckeyes staff. His loyalty, though, remains unquestionably with his alma mater.

''Coach Meyer is like a father figure to me,'' Tebow said. ''But I'm a Gator. I've been a Gator since I was a little boy. My mom and dad were Gators. I had two siblings that were Gators and I'll always be a Gator. So if they're playing in the national championship (Florida and Ohio State), Coach Meyer might have to be Gator bait.''