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Tim Tebow connects with inmates during prison visits

On Easter Sunday, Tim Tebow answered questions from a Texas pastor with more than 15,000 people hanging on his every word.

It was a very public example of both Tebow's immense popularity and outspoken connection to his Christian faith. Not all Tebow does is seen by the masses, however.

The New York Jets' quarterback has made 10 prison visits dating back to his time at the University of Florida, speaking and interacting with inmates who are looking for a fresh start. Accompanied by chaplain and longtime family friend James Williams, Tebow had spoken with everyone from death row inmates to young offenders new to the system.

"It's hard to fool people who are incarcerated," Gerald Evans, an inmate at Lawtey Correctional Institution in northeast Florida, told the New York Daily News. "They can see right through you. They can tell when a guy's faking, every time.

"Tim Tebow, he brought a charge to people here. He brought inspiration to people here. He is a real as you can get."

Tebow has visited Lawtey twice, talking faith and throwing a football with inmates in the prison's gymnasium.

"Being in prison you automatically see the worst in people," inmate Tyron Thomas said. "You meet a lot of people who pick up the Bible and when they put it down you can never tell they read it. There was just something about Tebow, and how he truly believes in the word of God. It's kind of freaky, actually. It's not something you see too often."

Cynics might call Tebow's "Good Christian Boy" image an act, but stories like this show he really does come from a different angle than your typical sports star. It certainly helps to explain his unrivaled appeal among NFL players.

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