It’s common for former college teammates to go up against each other in the NFL. But this Sunday when the Vikings and Broncos meet at Mall of America Field, there will be a prominent and illustrious college connection that will draw plenty of attention.
The Vikings drafted Percy Harvin out of the University of Florida with the #22 overall choice in 2009, and one year later the Broncos used the 25th overall pick to select Tim Tebow, also out of Florida. Together, Harvin and Tebow guided the Gators to BCS National Championships after both the 2006 and 2008 seasons. The Broncos also have DE Derrick Harvey on their roster, and Harvey was the defensive MVP of the title game following the 2006 season.
Harvin and Tebow accounted for 3TDs in the 2006 title game, with Harvin dashing in from 4 yards out to tally a TD run and Tebow tossing a 1-yard TD pass to WR Andre Caldwell in the 2nd quarter and then recording a TD run of his own from 1 yard out in the 4th quarter. Florida defeated Ohio State by a score of 41-14 to capture the championship.
In the title game following the 2008 season, Harvin and Tebow led the Gators to a 24-14 victory over Phil Loadholt’s Oklahoma Sooners. Harvin had a 2-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter and Tebow threw 2 TD passes in the game, one to Louis Murphy and another to David Nelson.
Tebow was on a conference call with Twin Cities reporters on Wednesday and had nothing but flattering words for his former teammate.
“I’ve definitely kept up with him and rooted for him,” Tebow said of Harvin. “He’s a great guy, great player, so I’ve been excited to see all the success that he’s had. He does definitely break the mold with how he plays, the skills that he has, so that’s been exciting to see. He can do so many things for a team, from punt return, kickoff return, running back, receiver, slot, whatever you need. Shoot, he can even line up at quarterback probably. He can be everything. I know he always has a good attitude about helping the team, so I just wish him the best and look forward to seeing him.”
You’re going to have a hard time finding a more prolific tandem in college football history. In just 3 seasons, Harvin generated 3,781 yards from scrimmage and 32 TDs, which is the most TDs by a WR in the history of the Gators football program. In 4 seasons, Tebow generated 12,233 yards from scrimmage to go along with 145 TDs – 88 passing TDs and 57 rushing TDs.
There also another notable college football reunion for Minnesotans coming up this weekend. Vikings CB Marcus Sherels attended the University of Minnesota with Broncos WR Eric Decker and practice squad quarterback Adam Weber. Decker is from Cold Spring, Minnesota and attended Rocori High School, Sherels is a Rochester, MN native and Weber was born in Shoreview and went to Mounds View.
Here are a few more college connections from the Vikings-Broncos matchup…
— Vikings LB Erin Henderson teamed with Broncos RB Lance Ball at Maryland
— Vikings DE D’Aundre Reed played with Broncos FB Spencer Larsen at Arizona
— Vikings S Jamarca Sanford and Broncos CB Cassius Vaughn teamed together at Mississippi
— At Notre Dame, Vikings C John Sullivan played with Broncos QB Brady Quinn and S David Bruton. Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph also teamed with Bruton for the Fighting Irish.
— Vikings DE Brian Robison, CB Cedric Griffin, Broncos WR Quan Cosby and OT Tony Hills were college teammates at Texas and played on the Longhorns 2005 National Championship winning team
— Vikings LB Xavier Adibi and Broncos WR Eddie Royal teamed together at Virginia Tech
Tags: Marcus Sherels, Percy Harvin
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