Tebow named 2nd most influential athlete

Former Gators QB moves up 8 spots

Published On: Apr 24 2012 02:47:44 PM EDT

Tim Tebow has yet to climb the NFL mountaintop, but he's almost reached the summit of the Forbes' rankings of America's Most Influential Athlete.

After debuting on the list last year at No. 10, the former Gators and current Jets quarterback has risen all the way to No. 2, right behind NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson who has claimed the top spot for the second consecutive year.

The rankings are done by public opinion polling. Forbes says Tuesday that Nielsen and E-Poll surveyed over 1,100 adults about dozens of well-known athletes to measure their likeability and whether they are considered influential to marketers.

This year, six of the 10 featured on the list are NFL quarterbacks, including Peyton and Eli Manning, as well as Tebow.

Five-time NASCAR champion Johnson was joined on the list by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. But Earnhardt slipped from third to seventh, while teammate Jeff Gordon dropped off the list completely.