From the Gridiron to the Gospel

While at home in February of 1989 after completing my third season with the Chicago Bears, I sat in church out of respect for my preacher father on a Sunday evening, and the sermon grabbed me. I had grown up in church all my life and called myself a Christian, but the honest truth was that there was no evidence that Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior. That night, my life changed as I got serious with God.

I was born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma. My parents were wonderful Christians and my father was a bi-vocational preacher. At the age of six, I walked the aisle in our church and made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized shortly thereafter. I was a pretty good kid growing up with a pretty good testimony and never really gave my parents much trouble.

Football was very important as my family loved the game and loved the Oklahoma State Cowboys (my Dad had attended Oklahoma A&M after World War II). My dream was to play for OSU and hopefully beyond, but my high school career was not spectacular. Being a “late bloomer” and a “kid with a big frame that had potential”, Jimmy Johnson took a chance on me in 1980 and extended a scholarship offer at the last minute which I gladly took. Fear is a great motivator and I was scared to death that I would get killed when I got to OSU, so I lived in the weight room. I grew a full inch in height that off-season, gained thirty pounds, while improving my 40 yard dash to 4.9. In six months, I went from being a risk to a sure fire prospect. OSU had graduated some linemen the previous year and I was fortunate enough to make the varsity as a true freshman. In 1981, making the varsity as a freshman was not a common occurrence.