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Tim Tebow News
The congratulations keep coming for Tim Tebow, and they don't get any more prestigious than the one he got on Friday morning.
It was a hand-written letter from President George W. Bush.
"That was cool," Tim Tebow said after Friday's practice. "He wrote me a really nice letter, thanking me for having my priorities right and putting God first, and congratulations. All that stuff. That was a huge honor for me. It was great."
Here is the text of the letter dated Dec. 9:
Congratulations on winning the Heisman Trophy. More importantly, I appreciate your priorities as stated in your speech! Faith, family, academics and sport. If your mission was to allow the Almighty to shine brightly, it worked. I appreciate the love and pride that your parents obviously felt last night. Please give them my best.
Sincerely, George Bush
That's the second high-profile congratulatory letter Tim Tebow has received. Actor Chuck Norris faxed one to his New York hotel on Monday, two days after Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
Tim Tebow also got a congratulatory text message from country music star Kenny Chesney. The two have become close since meeting at a small concert in Gainesville this past summer.
"It was fine," Tim Tebow said. "I talk to him every few weeks."
Friday was Tim Tebow's first practice without a cast on his right hand, which he broke during a 45-12 victory over Florida State on Nov. 24. He had a wrap and a small brace on his hand, and Tim Tebow said he's not sure if he'll wear that against Michigan in the Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl.
"This was just for today," he said. "I was able to do everything."
Rutledge won't play
UF coach Urban Meyer confirmed Friday that senior fullback Eric Rutledge would not play in the bowl game, but declined to give a reason.
Rutledge (5-foot-11, 253 pounds) has been integral in the Gators' success running the ball. The Gators are averaging 197.7 yards per game on the ground, which trails only Arkansas (296.8 ypg) and LSU (218.9 ypg) in the Southeastern Conference.
Meyer said freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez would fill in for Rutledge against Michigan.
Eight seniors will graduate today: tight end Derek Baldry, receiver Andre Caldwell, running back Markus Manson, defensive tackle Clint McMillan, offensive lineman Carlton Medder, center Drew Miller, defensive back Moise Paul and offensive tackle Phil Trautwein.
Meyer also said he doesn't anticipate any academic casualties for the bowl game.
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