Notebook: No war of words from Tebow


Published: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 8:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 8:39 p.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE Florida quarterback Tim Tebow first found out about Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks' comments at a position meeting Sunday afternoon.

So what does Tebow think about being labeled the fourth best quarterback in the Big 12?

"Who knows? Maybe," Tebow said. "That might have been a compliment. We'll see."

Tebow played coy rather than engaging in a war of words during Monday's BCS championship Media Day at Dolphin Stadium. But Tebow did want to clarify comments attributed to him through CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist. Lundquist said during the broadcast of Florida's Southeastern Conference title game against Alabama that Tebow told him he was looking forward to facing a Big 12 defense.

"I didn't say it like that," Tebow said. "I've always dreamed of playing teams like Texas, Oklahoma. I just love college football, not just Big 12 teams. Penn State, USC, I've always wanted to go against those teams. When I was talking about them I was talking like that, not like we're superior to them in any way."

Tebow said that while he enjoys some competitive banter, he doesn't need it for extra motivation Thursday.

"I have enough to be motivated about," Tebow said. "I think number one is holding that crystal ball up."

Ingram to dress

Florida senior tight end Cornelius Ingram said he plans to dress for Thursday's BCS title showdown with Oklahoma.

But Florida coach Urban Meyer already has nixed the idea of playing Ingram, because he doesn't want to jeopardize the tight end's future. Ingram, a Hawthorne native who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL last August, is projected to go within the first three rounds of next April's NFL draft.

"I just really want to feel a part of it and feel good about the whole situation," Ingram said. "As far as not really not getting out there every time and playing like I'm used to, it will be difficult."

Ingram said he's on track to recover in time for next month's NFL combine in Indianapolis. Asked if he would play Thursday if it were up to him, Ingram responded: "Maybe. The only thing is I haven't been out there in the pads and the full contact yet. So that's the only thing I might be tentative about. As far as catching, running, cutting full-speed, I'm doing all that and it's coming along really well."

Lone Sunshine stater

Fifth-year senior defensive back Brett Bowers is the only player from Florida on Oklahoma's roster.

Yet Bowers, a Florida State fan growing up, has a second degree of separation from the Gator program. While at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Bowers played on the same team with Tebow. Bowers played his junior and senior seasons at Trinity Christian when Tebow was a freshman and sophomore there.

"He played QB and linebacker," Bowers said. "I played receiver, so I caught a few of his balls. He's got a lot of zip on the ball."

Tebow eventually transferred to Nease High in St. Augustine before enrolling at UF. Bowers is not listed on the depth chart and has played mostly on special teams during his Oklahoma career.

Bowers said that when he first enrolled at Oklahoma, there were nine players from Florida on OU's roster, but those numbers eventually dwindled. Oklahoma had nine players from Florida on its roster, including a few that were starters, when the Sooners won their last national title in 2000.

"We've recruited throughout Florida," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who has ties to the state as a former UF defensive coordinator. "I can't say heavily. I think a lot of that is because in the proximity of our area and throughout Texas we do well and we recruit nationally.

"When there's a strong interest with somebody we follow up and pursue it. I think proximity-wise it's just a little difficult all the way to Florida and the quality programs that are close by."

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