Torretta, Tebow Share Some Things in Common

Tim Tebow

Now that Tim Tebow has wrapped up his brilliant college career, it's time for him to make his best case to be selected early in the National Football League's draft. Tebow's resume seems like it's perfect. He holds all kinds of records, led his team to a national title as a starter, and played a significant role in them winning another.

Tim Tebow's incredibly popular and carries no character questions off the field. Despite all that, there are many who question whether Tebow has a chance to succeed in the NFL because of his throwing motion and his lack of experience in a pro-style offense.  

There may not be anyone who can completely understand the situation Tebow faces, but Gino Torretta can relate better than most. He was the starting quarterback for the 1991 Miami national championship team, and led the Hurricanes back to the title game the following year. Like Tebow, he won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football. None of those accomplishments helped much with the NFL though, as Torretta wasn't drafted until the seventh round. He remembers what it was like to be in Tebow's position.  

"It's disappointing, because you've had success at a certain level, played the best teams and won a national championship and people still doubt you."  

Torretta believes Tebow has a chance to have a successful stay in pro football, but notes a lot of it may be out of his hands.  

"Playing quarterback at any level, you need the right situation," said Torretta. "It's a fine line between the guys that are there and starting and the guys who are out of the league. Hopefully Tim gets the right opportunity - we'll see."  

One thing that has changed in the 17 years since Torretta was drafted is the amount of attention paid to the draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. was the only draft guru Torretta remembered having any particular opinion on his chances, while Tebow's NFL possibilities have been scrutinized for several seasons by all kinds of different outlets.  

"They've got about 800 draft analysts and pundits now. It wasn't as pervasive then, so I didn't really pay attention to it."  

Lots of discussion about Tebow's draft possibilities has focused on the idea Jacksonville might select him as a way to reenergize their fanbase. Torretta feels that wouldn't be too much pressure for the UF star to handle, but emphasizes that the most important thing is whatever team Tebow winds up with has a plan for how to build around him and develop his skills. Even if it's only for specific packages like "Wildcat" or red zone work at the beginning, having the team make a specific commitment to Tebow's success would enhance his chances of getting enough practice work to make progress. Whatever pro football's general managers, coaches and scouts eventually conclude about Tebow's NFL worthiness, Torretta's a believer.  

"The guy's been successful wherever he's been, and he's had doubters wherever he's been and whatever level he's been at," said Torretta. "I've seen enough of him where I've stopped doubting. The guy's going to be able to make something happen."  

For his first decision of his post college career, Tebow has to choose whether to take part in the Senior Bowl (considered the most NFL friendly of the allstar games) or the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando. This year's NFL Draft begins April 22.

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