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Off the field, Tim Tebow is a star at Patriots training camp

Tim Tebow, Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterbacks Tim Tebow, right, and Tom Brady talk with fans and sign autographs following practice at NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Friday, July 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Tim Tebow may not even make the Patriots’ 53-man roster, but he does lead the team in one statistic in training camp: autographs signed.

Tebow has gone from traded away by the Broncos to cut by the Jets to just trying to make the team with the Patriots, but the Boston Globe has a lengthy story detailing the extent to which Tebow remains a star in the eyes of many fans who have attended Patriots camp solely to catch a glimpse of him.

One such fan, a disabled 15-year-old girl named Madelin Beardsley, traveled 600 miles with her family to cheer Tebow on during a Patriots practice. When Tebow stayed afterward to talk to the family, it made Madelin’s day.

“A handful of players signed autographs for Madelin,” Madelin’s father said. “Tebow was the only one to ask her name. I can’t tell you what that meant to her. There’s something about him, something that can make someone feel so special. Even if they meet for 10 seconds.”

Tebow stays after practice to sign autographs almost every day, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes at a time, and if he leaves before he has signed for every fan, it’s usually because he has to go to a team meeting. Tebow said he’s just doing what some of his players did for him when he was a kid.

“It’s a very little thing that can go a long way,” Tebow said. “I know, because when I was a young boy and I got Danny Wuerffel’s autograph, or Emmitt Smith’s autograph, what it meant to me. You want to be a good role model, someone that a young boy or young girl can look up to.”

No matter what he does on the field, Tebow has a lot of boys and girls -- not to mention grown men and women -- who love him.