Tim Tebow is off the market. The 31-year-old Mets farmhand and former quarterback popped the question recently to his girlfriend, 2017 Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and as he put it in a social media post, she said “YES.”
According to People, which on Thursday trumpeted exclusive details and photos from the occasion, the proposal took place the day before at a farm near Jacksonville belonging to Tebow’s family. After he dropped to one knee, popped the question and received the answer he clearly expected, the Heisman Trophy winner put a 7.25-carat solitaire ring on her finger and said, “This ring is internally flawless. Just like you.”
Tebow reportedly flew the family of Nel-Peters, a 23-year-old from South Africa, in for the event and kept their presence a secret from her. Once the ring was in place, South African singer Matthew Mole emerged “from behind a hay bale,” as People described it, and serenaded the happy couple.
“I actually wasn’t really nervous,” Tebow said of the proposal. “I was excited. I wanted everything to be perfect and to go smoothly. But I wasn’t nervous to actually ask her.”
“I’m so excited for the wedding,” said Nel-Peters (via People), “and I can’t wait to spend forever with Tim.”
Despite his unsuccessful NFL career, Tebow has maintained a high degree of celebrity status, in part by maintaining his visibility as an ESPN analyst, TV host and author, as well as in his unusual quest to switch sports and reach the major leagues. Since his days as a superstar college player at Florida, there has been considerable interest in his personal life. A devout Christian, Tebow claimed in 2009 that he was saving himself for marriage.
That adherence to abstinence was reportedly a factor in Tebow’s 2015 breakup with Olivia Culpo, who happened to be at the time a 23-year-old former Miss Universe. Asked about his ability to resist temptation, he said in 2017, “I think when your focus is on certain things that matter, for me my faith, loving people, helping people, caring for people, it’s not about focusing on the things that you’re not going to do. It’s about focusing on the things you are going to do.”
Shortly after that, Tebow addressed the fact that he was still single, saying, “Of course I want a woman who I’m attracted to. That’s a very big part of it. But I’m looking for someone who loves Jesus and loves people. Someone who makes me want to be a better person for her. And she has to want kids, and has to want to adopt. That’s a requirement.”
At that point, Tebow was in his first full year as a Mets minor leaguer, having signed with the organization in 2016. Last year, he played at the Class AA level and was named to the Eastern League All-Star Game, but his season abruptly ended when he broke a bone in his right hand.
That injury prevented the outfielder from possibly becoming one of the Mets' September call-ups. In November, the team’s new general manager suggested that if Tebow played exceptionally well in spring training, he might start this season on the big league roster. Brodie Van Wagenen also said that Tebow was expected to start off 2019 at Class AAA Syracuse, with the Mets keeping him on a fast track because of both his age and his popularity.
Tebow has been dating Nel-Peters since at least July 2018, when he confirmed the relationship to ESPN. “She is a really special girl and I am very lucky and blessed for her coming into my life,” he told the network’s Pedro Gomez. “I am usually very private with these things but I am very thankful.”
To make sure Nel-Peters didn’t suspect something was up during their stay at his family’s farm, Tebow wasn’t above a little deceit, telling her his apparent excitement derived from a plan to give his father a new truck. According to People, he even went so far as borrow a vehicle from a local dealership and put a large bow on it and Nel-Peters subsequently told her impending father-in-law, “I’m sorry you didn’t get a new truck, but you’re getting a new daughter!”
“She’s just perfect for me,” Tebow said of Nel-Peters. “I’m really blessed to have her by my side for the rest of my life.”
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