Over the years, I’ve sort of softened on Tim Tebow. Tebow became famous as college football player (he won the Heisman) and then in the NFL, where he had a spotty career which fizzled out circa 2015, if not earlier. We’ve been hearing his name for so long, I thought he was much older, but he’s only 31 years. In addition to his football career, he’s also famously VERY churchy and Evangelical, and he was even known for praying on the football field. He also made public statements about saving himself for marriage. It would have been a nice story for the Duggar-types if he had married young and started a family, but as he went through several famous girlfriends – Olivia Culpo, Camilla Belle – I actually began to wonder if it wasn’t about the sex or lack of it, but maybe there was just something “off” about Tebow. But as I said, I’ve sort of softened on him. Maybe it really has taken him this long to find his perfect mate: a 23-year-old named Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Tebow proposed to Demi-Leigh this week:
Tim Tebow has asked girlfriend Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters to marry him — and she said yes! The former NFL quarterback proposed to Nel-Peters at sunset on Wednesday at his family’s farm outside of Jacksonville, Florida, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal. The couple strolled along the property, and stopped next to a small lake, where Tebow had installed an arbor and a specially made bench that was engraved with the date the couple first met.
For about five minutes, Tebow and Nel-Peters talked about their relationship and its future in hushed tones before Tebow, 31, dropped to one knee. “Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, I love you,” he said. “Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, will you marry me?” As Nel-Peters said yes, Tebow slipped a 7.25-carat solitaire ring on her finger. “This ring is internally flawless,” he said. “Just like you.”
Then Tebow had another surprise. South African singer Matthew Mole stepped out from behind a hay bale and serenaded the couple with “The Wedding Song,” one of their favorite songs. The proposal was a family affair. Tebow had secretly flown Nel-Peters’ family and closest friends from South Africa to Florida to witness the engagement. His parents, siblings and friends were also on hand for the exciting moment. The invitees watched the proposal from a distance and out of view from Nel-Peters — who didn’t suspect a thing.
“I actually wasn’t really nervous,” Tebow tells PEOPLE. “I was excited. I wanted everything to be perfect and to go smoothly. But I wasn’t nervous to actually ask her.”
Tebow tells PEOPLE that he’s looking forward to planning the wedding. “I’m sure she’s got some great ideas,” he says. “It’s going to be really exciting, and I can’t wait.” Adds Nel-Peters: “I’m so excited for the wedding, and I can’t wait to spend forever with Tim.”
23 years old, presumably never slept with her fiance and she can’t wait to spend “forever” with him? I mean, sure, maybe she’s really that wholesome. It happens. Frankly, I’m more suspicious of the fact that People Magazine got this huge exclusive, completely with exclusive quotes from both of them. It makes me think that they’re in the market for a reality show. How much you wanna bet?
Also: my first thought was “how fast did this happen?” They’ve apparently been dating seriously since…last July. So, it didn’t happen overnight, but it’s still pretty fast.
Photos courtesy of Instagram.