Tebow played quarterback for Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and was ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a high school senior. He chose to attend the University of Florida, where he played for the Florida Gators football team. As a backup and situational quarterback, Tebow helped the Gators win the national championship during the 2006 college football season. Tebow was the Gators' starting quarterback during the 2007 season when he became the first college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
In 2008, Tebow led Florida to a 13–1 record and its second national championship in three years, and was named the offensive MVP of the national championship game. The Gators again went 13–1 in 2009, his senior year. At the conclusion of his college career, he held the Southeastern Conference's all-time records in both career passing efficiency and total rushing touchdowns, appearing second and tenth (respectively) in the NCAA record book in these categories. He was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He started the last three games of his rookie season and became the Broncos' full-time starting quarterback beginning in the 6th game of 2011. The team was 1–4 before he became the starter but began winning with him on the field, often coming from behind late in the 4th quarter until they won their first AFC West title and first playoff game since 2005, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime. Denver was subsequently eliminated from playoff contention a week later by the New England Patriots. Despite his successes, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets during the offseason after the Broncos aggressively pursued and acquired free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.
Tebow is known for sharing his Christian faith with fans and in clinics, hospitals, market places, schools, and orphanages.