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Christ-Following Football Hopefuls Prep for NFL Draft: 'I Passionately Pursue a Relationship with Jesus'

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NFL and collegiate football fans are anticipating the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25-27. Among those waiting are college football standouts hoping to be drafted, including a number of faith-driven players. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Magazine just featured seven of the hopefuls who have been open about their faith. 

For eight years, FCA has published annual college football issues, sharing about hundreds of players who are open about their faith. In its latest issue, the seven college standouts shared about their relationship with Christ. Here are a few highlights from FCA:

David Blough (QB - 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!" Blough also said one of the most influential people in his life while at Purdue was FCA Campus Director Marty Dittmar. "Through discipleship, mission trips and weekly FCA Huddles, the ministry of FCA has helped mold me into the man I am today."

Rodney Anderson (RB - 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."
Alec Eberle (OL - 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."

Gary Jennings (WR - West Virginia) —"I passionately pursue a relationship with Jesus because without Him I am nothing."
Jojo Mcintosh (DB - 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!"
Hunter Renfrow (WR - 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." Renfrow also commented that FCA "has always been a large part of my life and has allowed me to become who I am today. Growing up, my parents were a part of FCA in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and it gave me an avenue to grow in my faith while meeting athletes who were constantly pursuing Christ."
Brett Rypien (QB - 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."    

"These young players live out their faith on the field as followers of Jesus Christ, and He directs their playbook for life," said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. "We wish them all the best in this week's draft—just the beginning of a journey we hope will be guided by God for years to come, either in the NFL or along another path." 
Previous cover stars have been drafted over the years, including:
Mason Rudolph (QB) - featured on the 2017 magazine cover and drafted in 2018 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round.
Evan Engram (TE) - was part of the 2015 FCA Magazine cover and drafted by the New York Giants as the 23rd pick in the first round in 2017.
Matt Barkley (QB) - appeared on the 2012 cover and drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and today plays with the Buffalo Bills. 
Coverage of the NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. ET Thursday on ABC, ESPN and the NFL Network.  

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