It was a busy and productive offseason for Danvers High football player Matt Andreas.
Andreas was recently named to IMG Academy’s “All-Madden Team” after attending a camp on the Bradenton, Fla. campus in July. That honor came just months after getting the thrill of his young football life.
During a workout at IMG Academy in April, Andreas had a chance meeting with Tim Tebow, his favorite football player. He ended up running routes and catching passes from Tebow.
“That was the best moment of my life. Tim has always been my role model and always my favorite player, ever since he first went to (the University of) Florida,” the 14-year-old Andreas said. “To meet my hero was incredible.”
Andreas was on the sidelines with his father when Tebow arrived at the field to work out with Chris Weinke, IMG Academy Director of Football and the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State University. Weinke invited Andreas join Tebow, and the Danvers resident became one of two receivers for the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.
Tebow was cut by the New England Patriots just a few days ago, but Andreas feels like he’s a capable NFL quarterback.
“He was spot on,” Andreas said. “I don’t see how anyone says he can’t throw. His motion looked perfect and he had dead-eye accuracy. His first throw was a slant and he threw it so hard it pushed my hands back and hit me in the face.”
Andreas ended up working out with Tebow for about an hour-and-a-half. Then, when he was walking off the field, Tebow sent one of the coaches over to Andreas with a signed football.
“Toward the end we talked for about 20 minutes and he signed the football for me. We were talking about what I’d like to do in the future. He took pictures with me and my dad,” Andreas said. “Half the people in the NFL wouldn’t have worked out with a 14-year-old. He was so nice and treated me with respect, like an adult.”