Tebow receives 'Medallion of Excellence,' honored with resolution

TALLAHASSEE -- University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy last fall, was honored by the Florida Senate and House on Thursday.

The Senate awarded him the Medallion of Excellence for his achievements off the field, the highest honor given by the chamber.

He was also honored with a resolution in the House and threw several passes to Speaker Marco Rubio, R-West Miami.

Tebow, who was home-schooled for 12 years before college, has a 3.77 grade point average at Florida.

He spent his spring break visiting orphans and sick children in the Philippines, where his parents are missionaries.

"There are a lot of role models in football, but there are not a lot of good ones," Tebow said. "People might not think they're a role model, but there are always people watching."

"We are a nation in need of character and in need of doing the right thing," the 20-year-old athlete told state senators while several young fans wearing Gators colors waved from the gallery.

"God bless, go Gators," concluded Tebow, who was scheduled to meet later with Gov. Charlie Crist.