Fox News
May 31, 2011

Tim Tebow Talks Faith, Football and Future Plans

Guests: Tim Tebow, author, "Through My Eyes"

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Tim Tebow is one of the most decorated players in the history of college football. He won two national championships while playing for the University of Florida and was the first sophomore in NCAA history to win the Heisman trophy.

Now as a player for the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow is ready to talk about his life off the field in his brand new book, "Through My Eyes." Tim reveals how his Christian faith and upbringing have shaped him into the athlete he is today.

I sat down with him to talk about that and much more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: How are you man?

TIM TEBOW, "THROUGH MY EYES" AUTHOR: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on.

HANNITY: You know what's funny? I'm reading, you're growing up, you have what, two older brothers?

TEBOW: I do.

HANNITY: All right, and so they were older than you and you wanted to keep up with them and lift weights when you were four? Four years old?

TEBOW: Well, they were already into football and they were lifting and training, as I tell in the book. You know, I wanted to be like them and so if lifting weights was going to make you better and keep up with my brothers I was going to do whatever it took.

HANNITY: I was talking with one of your brothers and I think you can take him now, am I right?

TEBOW: I think so. I don't know that he wants to --

HANNITY: I was the youngest. I had three older sisters. They've used to beat the living daylights out of me.

TEBOW: Can you take them now?

HANNITY: Yes, barely.

TEBOW: What if they gang up on you?

HANNITY: Yes, they probably could.

You have a fascinating background. You know what is amazing, a lot of guys, in your profession -- you know what? They got girls waiting at the gates, at the hotels, all of this stuff.

You grew up in a very religious family. You worked on a farm. You went to missionary trips to the Philippines with your dad as a missionary. You prayed up until the minute you chose Florida, you know, where was the right place for to you to be and where you should go, and you did this all at a young age. What is the difference between you -- you see what is going on in football.

TEBOW: Well, you have definitely done your research. But I think for me, ever since I was a young boy my dad used to tell me, he said as a football player, you're going to be blessed with a platform.

And when you have success on the football field, you know, people are going to look up to you. They do. With my success at Florida and being the first round draft pick to the Denver Broncos, you know what? I'm blessed with a platform.

And I believe more than just a platform, it is a responsibility and obligation to be a great role model, to set a great example because it is one thing to score touchdowns, win trophies and championships.

But at the end of the day that doesn't matter. But if you can affect people, if you can change people's lives, if you can be a good role model, someone that a mom or dad can look to their son and say that's how you need to handle it.

That's my ultimately goal. That's ultimately how I would define my life as having success, if I can reach that, if I can be a good role model like I had when I was young and Danny (inaudible) and Tony Dungy and some great role models that I had.

HANNITY: Tony is a good friend of mine. I agree with you. But Christians are saved, you told really touching story about how you wanted to become a Christian. Your dad, a minister was tough on you. You went to your mom and she prayed with you and you became a Christian.

But I guess the question I have is, there's a lot of temptation in this world. You know, especially if you are in the public eye and you are a rock star athlete like you are. You know, not everybody has your strength or your faith to guide you through that, have you thought through how you are going to deal with all of that?

TEBOW: Absolutely. There's going to be a lot of temptation. The longer this goes on, my football and everything and being in the spotlight, you're going to have more and more temptation. I think the number one way that you handle that is obviously by having a strong faith and relying on that, staying in the word.

But also by having a great support staff around you, by having friends who keep you accountable, by having everyone in my family having everyone that is involved, my agents, everything to getting all that support staff that believe in me and keep me accountable and make sure I'm doing the right thing.

HANNITY: How do your fellow athletes respond to your outspoken faith, Christianity, this we are role models? Because some athletes reject the idea, I'm not a role model.

TEBOW: I think they respect me, But it is not necessarily for that. It's because, you know, they know how passionate I am about football. They know how much work I put into it. They know I'm the first one there and the last to leave.

And they know that I care about them and so that outweighs everything else. I think they respect me for that. They see my actions. I think once they see my actions and respect me for that, they are more likely to listen to me and hear what I'm saying.

HANNITY: You experienced that? Maybe guys watched you and wondered and then all of a sudden they are in trouble, probably you are one of the first guys they would turn to.

TEBOW: Absolutely, there's no doubt about it. You know, that's the thing. So many people think it is about what you say. It really doesn't have much at all to do with what you say. It has to do with your actions and what you do every day.

And then when they look at you after a look period of time and they see, OK, he's for real and then they come to you and they'll talk and I think that's the greatest way.

HANNITY: So basically you're saying talk show hosts that are all big mouths -- no, I'm kidding. Our words have no impact.

Interesting ,the controversy, you discuss this in the book about the Super Bowl ad that you did with Focus on the Family. People were projecting in what they thought it was going to be. It wasn't anything what they thought. You did this why and what was the outcome of that?

TEBOW: I did it because, you know, I have a special relationship with my mom. A lot of doctors told her that she needed to give up on me. She --

HANNITY: They said she needed to abort you?

TEBOW: They did. She believed in me and believed that God had a plan for my life. Even when they're saying I might not even ne a baby, I might just be a tumor. She believed and she had the courage. It was an opportunity to publicly thank her and then also do something to celebrate life. It wasn't being judgmental or putting anybody down.

HANNITY: Didn't they tell her that you were -- she was going to die if she continued to carry you?

TEBOW: They said she had a high chance.

HANNITY: And what was interesting that after you were born is apparently the doctor said it was a bit of a miracle because there was so little of the placenta that was nourishing you --

TEBOW: I was malnourished when I was born and so, you know, my parents asked everyone to pray and you know, I caught up pretty quickly.

HANNITY: It looks like it. The brother of yours is resenting every minute of it right now. So what are your future plans? What are you going to be doing from here?

TEBOW: Well, I have several goals. You know, my dream since I was a boy was to be a quarterback in the NFL. That's something I'm pursuing and I'm working extremely hard to do that.

And then also, I started the Tim Tebow Foundation. Our goal is to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need and that is my ultimate goal.

HANNITY: You are still helping with the family orphanage that you have in the Philippines?

TEBOW: I definitely am. We are supporting over 600 orphans. We're building a hospital in the Philippines. We have several Tim's playrooms. We are really trying to make a difference because honestly, I want my legacy to be with the kids that I impacted not on the football fields that I played on.

HANNITY: The more Super Bowl rings you win, you are going to have more impact.

Tim Tebow, you're a great American. Great to see you. God bless you.

TEBOW: God bless you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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