Until Friday, 66 people had been given the "Great Floridian" designation, and now Tim Tebow joins the elite group of men and women.
Governor Rick Scott honored one of Jacksonville's favorite sons. Gators legend and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow accepted the Great Floridian designation at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse. The big left-hander is always modest at times like this.
Tebow said, "I feel like the humble Floridian and blessed Floridian. I don't look at myself as a great Floridian, I look at myself as a blessed Floridian."
The state created the Great Floridian designation in 1981 to honor the men and women who have made significant contributions to the progress and welfare of Florida. Among Floridians who have received the honor are former governors and politicians, civil rights activists, members of the military, and prominent athletes.
Gov. Scott said Florida is honoring Tebow for his work with the Tim Tebow Foundation, created in 2010. Tebow works to help orphans, to teach children about strong character and to help sick children.
Governor Scott said, "Not only is he somebody who knows how to win on the football field, but he also inspires people all across, not only the United States, but across the world."
Tebow shattered Southeastern Conference records as the Gators quarterback and became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. He has played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets in the NFL, but the popular athlete is also known for his strong Christian faith and his commitment to make children's lives better.
At the award ceremony Friday afternoon, we asked Tebow where he gets his passion to help others. Tebow responded, "I have a heart for helping the least of these, and those are orphans, those are widows, those are people that you're not gonna get recognition for helping."
Tebow will spend the weekend at Sawgrass with his gala and golf tournament, doing what he does best -- raising money to help other people.
Great Floridians are chosen by the Secretary of State Ken Detzner from a nominating committee that includes the governor, three Cabinet members, the Senate president and House speaker.
See the list of Great Floridians here.