The football star is making waves in the NFL – for more than just his quarterback skills

Credit: Brian Dowling/PictureGroup

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is the buzz of the NFL these days.

The former University of Florida star has helped lead his NFL team to an 8-5 record with one incredible comeback after another, including a 13-10 overtime win Sunday over the Chicago Bears.

Well known for his faith and charity work, Tebow’s personal life is as carefully guarded as it is speculated about – one Web site even features a “Do You Think Tim Tebow Has a Girlfriend?” poll.

So what do we know about the 24-year-old Heisman Trophy winner?

1. He’s saving himself for marriage
Two of the most memorable Tebow moments came in 2009 – both of which set him apart from the typically macho world of football.

First, he said that he was a virgin, waiting for marriage.

Five months later, TV cameras captured him sobbing on the sidelines as his Gators lost the SEC Championship to Alabama, and later giving a tearful interview about the loss.

2. He had an international upbringing
Tebow was born in Makati City in the Philippines where his parents were working as Christian Baptist missionaries. He returned to the Philippines during his high school summers to assist his father with his orphanage and missionary work there.

3. His name has been used to refer to both an NCAA regulation and an Internet fad
The National Collegiate Athletic Association passed a rule in 2010 banning players from writing messages in their eye blacks, dubbed “The Tebow Rule” by media because of his habit of adorning his with biblical verses. Tebow’s name is now also a verb to thanks to the “Tebowing” phenomenon, with people mimicking his kneeling and praying motion and posting pictures of themselves online.

4. He was homeschooled
Tebow and his four siblings were all taught at home by their mother as part of their Christian upbringing. “I think that being home schooled offered me an opportunity to learn some life lessons, and those experiences help me while I’m on the field,” he told Sports Illustrated in a 2007 interview.

Tebow became the first homeschooled athlete to win a Heisman Trophy. He’s also put his education to good use off the field: Tebow co-wrote his autobiography Through My Eyes, which was released earlier this year. It debuted at No. 6 on the bestseller list.

5. He was on TV before he was household name
Before he was a Bronco or a Gator, Tebow played for Nease High School in Florida. It just so happened the MTV show Two-A-Days: Hoover High was filming when the Hoover Buccaneers played Tebow s high school in the pilot episode. Tebow was featured as the quarterback for the opposing team, which lost the game.