- Last Updated: 5:45 PM, April 15, 2012
- Posted: 3:13 AM, April 15, 2012
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Security guards at the Jets practice facility had better get their beauty sleep tonight, because Tim Tebow plans on beating them there tomorrow morning.
Fresh off hosting his annual charity golf tournament yesterday at the famed TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Tebow told The Post he can’t wait for the start of the Jets offseason program.
“I’m going to be there early — as in ‘crack-ofdawn’ early,” the lightning-rod offseason acquisition said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for since the trade happened, and I want to make a good impression.”
Tebow told The Post he is so excited about his new beginning after being abruptly dumped by the Broncos last month, he has been studying the playbook new Jets offensive offensive coordinator Tony Sparano gave him for the Senior Bowl two years ago, when Sparano — then the Dolphins’ boss — coached Tebow’s side.
The Jets haven’t been able to give Tebow their current playbook because of new NFL rules strictly limiting teams’ access to players in the offseason. Tebow also remains a bit in the dark because — somewhat understandably—he wasn’t invited by Mark Sanchez to the workouts two hours away in Orlando that Sanchez held this week with Jets teammates Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and Patrick Turner.
“I kept [Sparano’s] Senior Bowl playbook — I keep everything — and I’ve been going over every page of it,” Tebow told The Post. “I’m sure a lot of it still applies, even though that was a couple of years ago. I’m also excited to see what [Sparano] has new planned for me.”
Yesterday’s charity tournament, which featured newly crowned Masters champion Bubba Watson, University of Florida coach Will Muschamp and former Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst, was described by Tebow as one last respite before embarking on what he hopes will be a long Jets career.
Tebow said he was scheduled to fly from his home in nearby Jacksonville to New York today so he could be available to report bright and early to the Jets complex in Florham Park tomorrow morning.
“It’ll be all [football] from here,” Tebow said, although he added he hoped to play a couple of Donald Trump’s New York area golf courses when he gets the chance.
Tebow’s incredible popularity was on full display during the single-day hometown tournament as a crowd of several thousand people — many of them clad in freshly minted Jets gear bearing his jersey No. 15 — followed him every step of his 18-hole trek through the site of The Players Championship.
The crowd around Tebow was so thick, it dwarfed Watson’s gallery and required a sheriff ’s escort all the way to fend off any over-zealous autograph seekers.
Tebow also warmed the crowd’s hearts by hosting Bailey Knaub, a teenager from Denver who has undergone 70 surgeries to battle a rare lung and kidney disease. Tebow had Knaub follow him around in a golf cart in his pairing with Watson throughout yesterday’s round after asking her to speak at the pre-event dinner Friday night.
A throng of media that included cameras and reporters from E! Entertainment Television and even The Weather Channel then mobbed Tebow afterward, and The Weather Channel reporter asked two weather-related questions.
Tebow broke out the charm, too. When he learned a reporter from The Post was in town, Tebow pulled him aside and put his arm on the reporter’s shoulder.
“I want to thank The Post for sending you all the way down here,” Tebow said. “That’s awesome.”Follow @NYPostsports