Perseverance. A never-ending positive outlook. Faith.
Over the last few months, those words have become synonymous with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
But they also describe another far more unheralded quarterback who will never get a chance to play collegiate or professional football.
Jacob Rainey, a 6-foot-3, 213-pound QB from Woodberry Forest high school in Madison County, Va., was forced to have his right leg amputated after a horrific injury in a Sept. 3 scrimmage. A budding recruit at the time, Rainey’s dreams of a career on the football field were dashed before his junior season ever truly began. And yet, somehow, Rainey took it all in stride.
On Saturday, Tebow and Rainey — two men with different stories but a similar outlook — will both be in Buffalo when the Denver Broncos look to continue their playoff push against the Bills. Tebow will be on the field while Rainey will be in the stands as his special guest.
“Here’s a kid that a few months ago was playing football and got hit in the back of the knee and I think ruptured an artery,” Tebow told the Buffalo News. “They amputated his lower leg. He was ready to get scholarship offers and all that, and now he can’t play football. So you have to realize how blessed you are and use that platform. That’s why I’m so blessed to take Jacob and his family to the Buffalo game. ... What an amazing kid and what an amazing outlook that he has.”
Last month, in an interview with The Washington Post’s Preston Williams, Rainey — who’s running style had drawn comparisons to Tebow — displayed the outlook Tebow praised.
“I can’t change anything about it,” Rainey said. “There’s no point in complaining and moaning about it. It’s life. I’m not going to let this get in the way of who I am. I’m still going to hang out with my friends and laugh and have a good time. I’m not going to let this change me.”
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