PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Did Tim Tebow steer this year’s Heisman Trophy winner away from a baseball career with the A’s to April’s NFL Draft? Perhaps, if only indirectly.
Tebow, who arrived Saturday at First Data Field and is in Year Three of his quest to crack the majors with the Mets, said he spoke with Kyler Murray about choosing between the two sports. Just last week, Murray — the standout quarterback from Oklahoma — announced that he was leaving the A’s to play football. Oakland had selected Murray No. 9 overall in the 2018 amateur baseball draft.
“He loves two sports, and I can really relate to that,” Tebow said. “He went with something that he’s been really good at lately, and dominating, and when we talked about it, I just gave him the advice to follow your heart. Whatever you’re passionate about.
“Don’t do it for your agents, or your friends, and sometimes not necessarily even your family. Do it for what’s in your heart and don’t let other people define you. You’re going to have all these coaches that you look up to, and everybody else that’s going to tell you what they think, but what’s most important is following your heart and your passion, and hopefully he did that.”
Tebow won the Heisman in 2007 at Florida, then was drafted by the Broncos at No. 25 overall in 2010 before retiring from the NFL five years later. With the launch of the Alliance of American Football, Tebow was recruited by former Gators coach Steve Spurrier but turned down the offers to play for the Orlando franchise.
“It wasn’t very hard,” Tebow said. “And they’ve called a lot. And Coach Spurrier keeps calling. And I love Coach Spurrier and they’re great, but it was easy, even though it was an awesome offer.
“I’m all-in on baseball. No way could I stop and not give this the chance after everything that I’ve worked for. While I’m grateful for the opportunity, this is what I’m in now, and I’m all-in.”