Tim Tebow Confirms Relationship With Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

Tim Tebow is confirming the rumors that he's dating Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. In an interview with ESPN's Pedro Gomez, the former NFL quarterback opened up about their relationship.

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(Photo: Rena Schild / Shutterstock, Christopher Polk / Staff / Getty)

"She is a really special girl and I am very lucky and blessed for her coming into my life," Tebow said of the 23-year-old South African who lives in New York City. "I am usually very private with these things but I am very thankful."

Nel-Peters, who was crowned Miss Universe in November, used her platform to speak about gender and pay equities as well as the importance of self-confidence.

“Miss Universe is a woman that has overcome many fears and by that she is able to help other women to overcome their fears,” she said, according to the New York Daily News. “She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for and I think that is exactly who I am."

Del-Peters also said she wants to teach self-defense workshops for women after she was carjacked following her Miss South Africa win. During the carjacking, she escaped by punching one of the attackers in the throat.

While Tebow, 30, did not reveal in the ESPN interview how long the two have been dating, Nel-Peters has appeared in photos with the NFL player-turned-minor-league-baseball-player in the past week. While neither Tebow nor Nel-Peters have shared their relationship via social media photos, many eyebrows were raised when Tebow's sister, Katie Tebow, shared a photo of her brother with Nel-Peters on Instagram last week.

According to Terez Owens, the Heisman Trophy winner also bought Del-Peters a David Yurman necklace for her birthday in June.

Tim Tebow previously dated Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, but the two broke up in 2015 after just a few months.

Tebow was also previously linked to Savannah Chrisley after they took a photo together at a Sam Hunt concert in Nashville last year, although both parties denied the dating rumors.

Rumors also arose (and quickly died down) in 2014 that Tebow was dating Jana Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame.

Last spring, Tebow opened up about his single lifestyle. "I'm looking, but I just can't seem to find anyone," he told PEOPLE at the time. "I don't want to be single; I'm ready to settle down and start a family. I want to have kids. I have so many things I want. No one will be happier than me when I finally find the right person."

"I'm just looking for someone who has a good heart," he added. "They have to be kind, and they have to care about people who can't do anything for them in return."

He said his faith is important when finding a good match. "They have to really love God. My faith is important to me — it's the most important thing — and I need to be with someone who also shares that faith," he said.

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When named one of PEOPLE's Sexiest Men Alive in 2014, Tebow said that while it's important to be attracted to someone, he cares most of all about what's on the inside.

"It really has to go deeper than what they look like on the outside. Of course it's important to be attracted to someone, but it really needs to be about who they are on the outside," he said at the time.