Tim Tebow in Gainesville
Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow takes pictures with fans on the University of Florida's Plaza of the Americas in Gainesville, Florida, on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. (By Jordan McPherson, For the Orlando Sentinel /September 12, 2014)
's No. 5 Nease High jersey was retired Friday night.
Tebow, the former Nease standout and Florida Gators star, could not attend the ceremony but was represented by his parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, before the start of Nease's game against Menendez.
Tim Tebow led Nease to a 2005 Class 4A state championship win at what is now called Sun Life Stadium
in Miami Gardens. The Tebow-led Panthers earned the first state title in school history by defeating two-time defending champion Seffner Armwood 44-37. Tebow passed for 237 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Tebow famously lined up at defensive tackle on the final play of the game to hold off a late Armwood surge and secure the win.
Tebow, now a quarterback with the New York Jets, sent a short video message that was played for fans before Nease's game Friday.
"I will never forget my time at Nease, especially our state championship," Tebow said in the video, according to the Augustine Record
Tebow was home schooled, but he was awarded an honorary Nease High diploma.
“It’s a great honor,” Bob Tebow said, according to the Augustine Record. “The years at Nease were not only a lot of fun, but they were very formative years.”
Nease players followed up the ceremony with a 43-13 win over Menendez. Senior running back Ulysses Bryant rushed for a Tebow-esque 267 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries during the victory.
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