Only days from playing in Super Bowl LII, Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles is talking about his post-NFL aspirations: to become a pastor.
"I want to be a pastor in a high school," Foles told Richmond.com Thursday. "It's on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It's a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people's hearts."
Foles, Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, injured teammate Carson Wentz, along with other players from the Eagles and the New England Patriots, have used the media spotlight of the Super Bowl as a platform for sharing their Christian faith and beliefs.
Since taking over for Wentz and leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl, Foles has been outspoken about his faith. In the Richmond.com article, he described his passion for helping young people to live good lives.
"When I speak to (students), that's such a time of young men and young women's lives that there's a lot of things that are thrown at them. So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it and share all the weaknesses I have because I've fallen many times," Foles said in the article. "It's something I want to do. I can't play football forever. I've been blessed with an amazing platform and it's just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey."
Ertz told The Christian Perspective (CBN.com) that he dedicated his life to Christ last March.
"I was baptized in March, got married the next day," Ertz said in the article. "Our marriage has been built on that foundation from the word and Jesus, and it's changed my life. And just to have these guys hold me accountable on a daily basis has been phenomenal for me. I hope I do the same for them."
Before watching the big game, don't forget to go to church, Wentz told The Washington Post.
"If you are a pastor anywhere in the world who’s looking to impact the people in your community, please consider inviting me and other NFL players into your church this Super Bowl weekend,” Wentz says in a promotional video for Football Sunday, a national faith-based outreach effort. “I promise it will be something God uses to transform the people you are called to serve. And I believe for all eternity.”
Matthew Slater, who plays for the Patriots, said he was impressed by his opponents' expressions of faith, according to CBSSports.com.4 comments on this story
"I really appreciate Carson's boldness for the Gospel, how he represents Christ day in and day out," Slater said. "And it's not only him. You know, Nick does that as well. Chris Maragos. Brother Burton. I mean, there are a lot of brothers over there that stand firm for what they believe in, they represent the Gospel in a tremendous fashion."
In a 2013 interview with the Deseret News, Slater spoke of being strengthened by the faith of his teammates.
“I’ve been fortunate to have some good people of strong faith in my circle,” Slater said in 2013. “They have encouraged me and help me have a positive perspective.”