College Football Standouts ‘Passionately Pursue Christ’ with Exciting Bowl Games on the Calendar

***NEWS RELEASE***

 

 

College Football Standouts ‘Passionately Pursue Christ’ with Exciting Bowl Games on the Calendar

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Profiles 40 Players in FCA Magazine

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—College football fans are making their list and checking it twice to ensure they have all the bowl games on their TV-watching calendar. 

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) has profiled 40 college football standouts, including many playing in upcoming bowl games, in its latest issue of FCA Magazine. The feature highlights these players’ faith and how they “passionately pursue Christ” both on and off the football field.

“It awesome to collect the stories from 40 Christ-following college football standouts for our eighth annual college football edition,” said Clay Meyer, FCA Magazine editor. “FCA has the privilege to work with thousands of Christian athletes, many of whom see the effort and energy put forth on the field as a form of worship—a way to glorify their Creator, giving Him praise and honor for the abilities He blessed them with to compete. The lessons these profiled college football players have learned in passionately pursuing their gridiron goals also apply directly to their relationship with Christ. Time spent with the Lord in prayer and in His Word develop a longing to know Him more—and it forges a closer bond and deeper devotion to their relationship with Him. We are looking forward to these exciting bowl games and watching these Christ-honoring players glorify God.”

Vying on New Year’s Day for the College Football Playoff National Championship will be No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at 5 p.m. ET, along with No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 Clemson in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:45 p.m. Both games will air on ESPN, and the winners of these two matchups will meet in Atlanta at 8 p.m. Jan. 8 for the championship game.

Players from each of these championship-seeking teams offered the following comments about their faith:

  • Jeb Blazevich—Georgia—“I pursue a relationship with Christ through spending quality time with Him. Without spending time every day with Jesus, listening and talking to Him, I can’t be the man I want to be.”
  • Aaron Davis—Georgia—“I passionately pursue a relationship with Christ through the way I live my life. I feel like if I can serve as many people as I possibly can and study the Word, then I can continue to grow in my relationship with Him.”
  • Rodney Anderson—Oklahoma—“I pursue God by getting connected to a church and constantly surrounding myself with like-minded godly believers. I feel like it’s important to stay around believers because sin lurks around every corner.”
  • Caleb Kelly—Oklahoma—“I pursue God because I owe Him everything and deserve nothing. To go a day without Christ is to go a day lost in worldly distractions. Striving for Him makes life full of love and bliss.”
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick—Alabama—“I pursue a relationship with God by spending time in His Word and being in His presence. He is a relational God, so forming a relationship with Him is most important to me.”
  • J.K. Scott—Alabama—“Jesus left Heaven—perfect communion and happiness with the Father—and died for me, just for a shot that I would even consider Him. Why would I not? Why would I hold on to what I think is my life when I really have nothing without Him?”
  • J.D. Davis—Clemson—“In everything I do, I try to be like Jesus, because any man who is willing to take the beating He did and die for my sins is someone worth devoting my life to.”
  • Judah Davis—Clemson—“I passionately pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ because I believe He is my Savior. I do that by finding ways to keep engaged with my faith throughout the week—church on Sunday, Bible study on Tuesday and praise team practice on Wednesday.”
  • Hunter Renfrow—Clemson—“I pursue a relationship with Christ by surrounding myself with the godly leadership and players around the team. They are constantly pointing me to Christ, and it allows me to play free and without pressure.”

Additionally, upcoming bowl games, beginning this weekend, will feature players who are keeping their eyes on Jesus and commented to FCA what “passionately pursuing Christ” means to them (all times ET):

Las Vegas Bowl | 3:30 p.m. December 16 | Boise State vs. Oregon

  • Brett Rypien—Boise State—“I pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ because I know He has a plan for my life, and, throughout any ups and downs, He will always be there for me.”
  • Cedrick Wilson—Boise State—“I pursue a relationship with Christ because I know everything I have done—and everything I have and will have in the future—is all part of His plan. I have been blessed beyond measure, and there is only one reason for it, and that is Christ Jesus!”

DXL Frisco Bowl | 8 p.m. December 20 | Louisiana Tech vs. SMU  

  • Boston Scott—Louisiana Tech—“Christ died on the cross for our sins, and through that we have a hope for salvation, a hope of one day being seated with Him in Heaven. I want to give Him the glory in any and every way I can. This is football, but it is also my mission field.”

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl | 8 p.m. December 21 | Temple vs. Florida International

  • Mark Hutchinson—Florida International—“I’ve come to realize what God has done for me personally. He works in a mighty way. You have to be bold about your faith, because God won’t put you in a place you can’t handle.”

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl | 1:30 p.m. December 26 | Utah vs. West Virginia

  • Gary Jennings—West Virginia—“I passionately pursue a relationship with Jesus because without Him I am nothing.”
  • Nick Meadows—West Virginia—“I passionately pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ because He sacrificed Himself for our sins, allowing us to live an eternal life through Him. As my relationship with Christ grows stronger, I look to glorify God in everything I do because He gives me the strength to do all.”

Cactus Bowl | 9 p.m. December 26 | Kansas State vs. UCLA 

  • D.J. Reed—Kansas State—“I pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ because He loves me unconditionally, and He will never leave my side.”

Walk-Ons Independence Bowl | 1:30 p.m. December 27 | Southern Miss vs. Florida State  

  • Alec Eberle—Florida State—“I choose to follow Christ and have a relationship with Him because with Him anything is possible, and I firmly believe He gives me the opportunities He does for a reason.”
  • Darvin Taylor II—Florida State—“I have been challenged to live out what I talk about with God. Being someone who people look at and watch in the locker room is a big responsibility to not only act like Christ, but to lead as a servant as He did for us.”

Foster Farms Bowl | 8:30 p.m. December 27 | Arizona vs. Purdue 

  • David Blough—Purdue—“I passionately pursue a relationship with Christ because of His sacrifice on the cross. Serving a King who paid the ultimate price of death, bearing the weight of the world on His shoulders, for me to have a relationship with Him … everything I do ought to be to serve Him!”
  • Elijah Sindelar—Purdue—“I passionately pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ because He never leaves or forsakes me. He fights for me just like He did for the Israelites and His people; that’s why I cling to Isaiah 41:10 and Exodus 14:13-14.”

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman | 1:30 p.m. December 28 | Virginia vs. Navy

  • Bennett Moehring—Navy—“I pursue a relationship with Christ because He died on the cross to give me eternal life. He blessed me with the talent I have to play football and it’s my role to use that talent to the best of my ability and give Him all the glory while doing so.”
  • Micah Thomas—Navy—“All of the blessings and talents I have received come from Him, so why waste them by doing anything but your best? Have faith, remain humble, stay in the Word, embrace adversity, and spend time with like-minded people.”

Camping World Bowl | 5:15 p.m. December 28 | Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State 

  • Jack Click—Virginia Tech—“I pursue Christ because, to me, He’s the only place to find life. Pursuing the things of this world will just leave you empty, but Jesus will never let you down.”
  • Anthony Shegog—Virginia Tech—“I began to pursue a relationship with Christ thanks to my high school team chapel and the local church pastor who led it.”
  • Brad Lundblade—Oklahoma State—“I pursue Christ through the daily studying of Scripture and prayer because I trust that Jesus is the only hope for my salvation, and that the joy of knowing Christ is eternal and better than anything this world can offer.”
  • Ramon Richards—Oklahoma State—“I thank God for giving me the opportunity to chase any dream I want. He gives me everything I need. Faith and gratitude—along with spreading the positivity of Christ—brings joy to my life and the people around me.”

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph graces the cover of this year’s college football edition of FCA Magazine, where he tells FCA that he passionately pursues a relationship with Jesus Christ “because I want to be a witness for Him and use this platform to impact our community. I think my faith has grown in every chapter of my life, especially in college.”

Rudolph added that his relationship with God impacts his approach to football because “during the season you just naturally become more emotional and closer to God because you’re thinking about Him, you’re more anxious, you’re more nervous. You have to turn to Him with those nerves and emotions and just lean on Him and trust that He’s going to protect you and keep you safe.

“Christ is at the center of it,” the senior QB continued. “It’s Christ who will always be there for you; He’s your foundation. So just getting in the Word and leaning on a few of my life verses throughout the week, as well as constant communication with my parents, my grandparents—that’s my secret to success.”

Read the FCA Magazine Q&A and devotional with Mason Rudolph here.

Valero Alamo Bowl | 9 p.m. December 28 | Stanford vs. TCU 

  • Harrison Phillips—Stanford—“Jesus has always been the biggest priority in my life. I am forever grateful for the grace in which I was saved. I know that my day-to-day is directly impacted by Him, and I strive to get to know Him more and more every day to try to be a reflection of Him.”
  • John Diarse—TCU—“I actively pursue my relationship with Christ through regularly scheduled times of meditation and having simple and straight-forward conversations with Him.”

Belk Bowl | 1 p.m. December 29 | Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M

  • Austin Frey—Texas A&M—“A Christian athlete mentor explained to me about being a light in the darkness. I’m meant to share the love of Christ in all I do by glorifying God. I pursue Christ with all I have because that is what I am created for and the only thing that leaves me fulfilled.”
  • Koda Martin—Texas A&M—“I passionately pursue Christ because while I was yet a sinner, He died for me. He passionately pursues us. He’s my everything, and apart from Him I can do nothing.”

TaxSlayer Bowl | Noon December 30 | Louisville vs. Mississippi State

  • Kam Jones—Louisville—“When we have a relationship with Jesus, He becomes Lord of our lives. He protects, guides and comforts us. The Lord also gives me purpose and direction in life. Paul says it best in Philippians 3:10: ‘I want to know Christ…’”
  • Malik Staples—Louisville—“Jesus gives me hope and a reason to keep pushing in this thing called life. I want to use my life to touch others, and use my platform to point people to Jesus.”

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl | 4 p.m. December 30 | Washington vs. Penn State

  • JoJo McIntosh—Washington—“I grew up in faith and love for Jesus Christ. I have felt His everlasting love and grace. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for us; it is only right I give him praise and glory. God is great! All the time!”
  • Dante Pettis—Washington—“I pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ because I feel happiest when I am following Him. No matter what is going on around me, if I am rooted in my faith, I will always feel secure while walking with Christ.”

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl | 12:30 p.m. January 1 | UCF vs. Auburn 

  • Austin Golson—Auburn—“I pursue a relationship with the Lord because my family raised me that way, and God has a plan for each of us. Christ died on the cross for our sins, so I feel like the least I can do is give back to Him.”

Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton’s | 1 p.m. January 1 | Notre Dame vs. LSU

  • John David Moore—LSU—“I pursue Christ because He first pursued me. Just like the parable [in Matthew 13:44] of the man who found a treasure in a field, sold all he had and bought the field, I realize Christ is worth everything I have, and I seek to glorify Him in all I do, especially sports.”

View the entire bowl game schedule here.

Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.

 

###