I grew up in Kellyton, Alabama, which is a town of about 700 people, and most are kin. My father and mother raised my six siblings and me in the church. I was a part of one of those families that was in church every day. When I say that, I mean we were in church Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And then we started again on Sunday. I was blessed to have a father who said, “As for me and my household, we will praise the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). He set the example for my family. We were involved in every part of the church. You name it, we were involved in it. 

But personally, I didn’t find my relationship with God to be strong until after I left home to go to the University of Notre Dame. I was so accustomed to going to church just because my father and all my family members went to church. But when I got out of my home and learned more about faith for myself, that’s when my relationship with Christ changed and became stronger.

I’ve been blessed that wherever I’ve gone, whether at Notre Dame or with the New York Giants, I’ve been part of a group of guys who want to live their lives for Christ and grow beyond the norm for football players. I’ve always had people to lean on for advice and support, which has helped me keep walking the right way. Temptations are great, but I’ve found that when you have support, it’s easier to make good choices. 

Am I saying the guys in our group don’t make mistakes? Absolutely not. We do. But we try to keep them to a minimum.

I realize that as football players, we have a huge platform [to bring about] change and to honor God. So many people watch every move that we make. As a person that puts God first, I think it’s very important that I live that life not only in the limelight, but more importantly, off camera. You never know who’s watching you. I realize that in the position I’m in, people watch what I do. I want to be the person that sets a great example on how to live your life.