Tebow to visit Gainesville


Tim Tebow answers a question during a interview on the set of ESPN's new SEC Network in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. . Tebow has a new job as a commentator for the SEC Network, but is still looking for work in the NFL as a quarterback.

The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.

Heisman Trophy winner and former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will return to Gainesville on Thursday, but this time he'll be playing for a different team. Tebow will move into television as part of the SEC Network, which debuts at 6 p.m. Thursday. The former Gator standout will be joined by Joe Tessitore to report live from UF's campus.

Tebow will serve as one of the primary analysts on SEC Nation, a traveling pregame show much like ESPN's popular College Game Day, except for one major dissimilarity: SEC Nation will air only from Southeastern Conference schools, starting with a trip to Columbia, South Carolina for South Carolina and Texas A&M on Aug. 28.

The network will debut with its flagship news and information show SEC Now live from all 14 SEC campuses. Sports of all seasons will be showcased in the three-hour special sharing the passion, beauty and treasure trove of champions stowed up in SEC country.

Notable figures on and off the field, lent their voices in an opening essay that speaks to the tradition, pageantry and storied history of the SEC. Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning, Shaquille O'Neal, Dara Torres and Joe Namath are among the 31 voices that will ring for the SEC. Their words will be the first etched in SEC Network history. They will be expanded upon over the course of the show - and the year ahead - by a talented pool of SEC Network commentators, 15 of which are involved in the opening show. In total, the premiere night will include 21 anchors, reporters and analysts in studio and reporting live from campuses.

The show will feature a diversity of sports coverage, a host of SEC Network experts, high-end features, behind-the-scenes access and sit-down interviews - backbone elements for the regularly schedule SEC Now show.

Highlights of the debut special:

*Faces of SEC Now: Hosts Dari Nowkhah and Maria Taylor will anchor the first live show from the network's Charlotte, North Carolina, studios. They will be joined by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger as well as Paul Finebaum, Greg McElroy and Booger McFarland

*Live Whip Around Reporting: Analysts, reporters and even a SportsCenter anchor will be dispersed and reporting live from the following SEC locations: Marcus Spears (Alabama), Niki Noto (Arkansas), Rece Davis (Auburn), Joe Tessitore (Florida), Tim Tebow (Florida), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Laura Rutledge (Kentucky), Peter Burns (LSU), Ben McDonald (LSU), Tony Barnhart (Mississippi State), John Anderson (Missouri), Kaylee Hartung (Ole Miss), Shannon Spake (South Carolina), Ryan McGee (Tennessee), Kayce Smith (Texas A&M) and Jessica Mendoza (Vanderbilt)

*All-Access: Go inside football camps with wired coaches; listen live at Mississippi State practice with Coach Dan Mullen, stride alongside Florida's walkthrough with coach Will Muschamp and shout with Yell Leaders at Aggies Yell practice

*Features: Auburn offensive lineman Shon Coleman was sidelined in 2011 and 2012 while fighting leukemia. Coleman returned last September and is battling for the starting left tackle position vacated by Greg Robinson, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's NFL Draft

*Highlights: Live look-ins and highlights from in-progress soccer matches UAB at Vanderbilt and Creighton at Arkansas

* Interviews: Sit down with coaches that represent 10 total championships, including five defending championship coaches from within the SEC's 21-sponsored sports; Spears interviews his former LSU coach, now head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban; Tebow returns to Gainesville to interview Florida's quarterback Jeff Driskel

SEC Now will be immediately followed with the SEC Storied debut of "The Stars are Aligned" at 9 p.m.

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