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Tebow declines invitation to attend draft, decides to return home

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, one of the most debated prospects entering the 2010 NFL Draft, has opted to return home to Jacksonville during the three-day event in New York.

The NFL has 17 players already in New York for the draft, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.

Tebow had considered the NFL's offer to attend the first round of the draft at Radio City Music Hall, but he said he wanted his family there.

"It would have been exciting to be here, to come up here and hold your jersey up with the commissioner. That's always something every athlete wants to do," Tebow told NFL Network's Charles Davis on Wednesday. "That would have been really special. But it's going to be really special being at home. Being with my family, my friends, my best friends, my high school teammates, people like that that I know couldn't make their way up here, that I wanted to be able to spend this moment with. That's what it's truly about for me."

Tebow told NFL Network's Rich Eisen on Tuesday that he spent the better part of the day talking with his agent and his family to see if he could get everybody to New York in time to hang out before and after the draft.

"The most important thing to me -- if you know me -- is my family," Tebow said. "For me to look at it (as) my moment because I have worked for it, that's being selfish. This is their moment, too. It's my family's moment. To not be with them, it's a hard thing for me to do."

A former Heisman Trophy winner and one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college history, Tebow has prompted much dissension among the scouting community. It's believed he could be drafted as high as the late first round or in the second round.

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