A Faith that Never Quits: An Interview with NFL Draft Pick Kyle Emanuel

A lot of times, guys playing at the college level don’t make it to the NFL, especially not through the draft. In the 2015 NFL Draft, only 17 of the 308 guys drafted were from the FCS ranks. One of those guys was Kyle Emanuel, the 17th pick of the 5th round. Kyle was a 1st team FCS All-American at North Dakota State…aka a stud. He is also a man of faith and was involved in FOCUS. Kyle was gracious to answer a few of my questions. Here they are:


Congrats to you on getting drafted and achieving success in football. More importantly, praise God for the gift of faith. Thanks for taking some time to answer some of my questions!

What did it feel like to have your named called in the NFL draft this year?

It was an unbelievable experience and I feel extremely blessed for the opportunity. I got to celebrate with family and friends in my hometown which made it all the better.

Was there a turning point in your life that made that dream a real potential?

I don’t know if there was one single turning point. I would just point to five years of hard work at NDSU along with the help of many coaches and other people along the way that pushed me to always become a better player.

When did you really develop a relationship with Jesus Christ?

My freshmen year of high school. My hometown has a Life Teen youth program and I went on retreat and it completely changed my view on faith and what having a relationship with God was.

How does that integrate into your athletics…both practice and game day?

It helps when you have a faith foundation to always fall back on. No matter what happens in my athletic career I know God has a plan which especially helps when you have any type of struggle. On game day I have a prayer routine to simply ask God to keep me healthy, and play my best to give glory to his name.

What advice do you have for college/high school athletes today that seek to live their Catholic/Christian faith and compete at a high level?

I would tell them to continue to work at your faith just as you do your sport. Especially in college you can get extremely busy and it becomes easy to put your faith to the side and not give it as much time. Surround yourself with people who will help you make it a priority in your life!

Join me in praying for Kyle, his journey, and that God may use him as his instrument in powerful ways!

Originally posted on www.faithandathletics.com.

Thomas Wurtz
Thomas Wurtz
Thomas started college at the University of San Diego where he played a season of football and joined Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. He transferred his sophomore year to Benedictine College where he played rugby to stay in shape and eventually graduated cum laude with a BS in Biology. It was while at Benedictine College that Thomas was exposed to FOCUS which was a major instrument in his conversion to the Christian life. He joined FOCUS staff in 2001 and served as a missionary and Team Director at Illinois State and as Team Director at Seton Hall. After two years as Men’s Formation Coordinator and receiving his Master’s Degree from the Augustine Institute, he launched Varsity Catholic, a division of FOCUS reaching out to college athletes. He continues to serve as the Director of Varsity Catholic (which has full-time staff working with 16 different athletic departments across the country) and resides with his family in Littleton, CO. He is the author of Compete Inside: 100 Reflections to Help You Become the Complete Athlete. His latest book is Pursuing Freedom: Becoming the Man You Could Be. You can follow Thomas and Varsity Catholic on Facebook and Twitter (@vrsitycatholic).

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