“I thank God. Without Him, none of this would have been possible. Every step of the way, I thanked Him for putting me in this position, putting my team in this position, and I just thanked Him for everything.”
This is what Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean said after winning in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Indianapolis, Georgia. It was a tall order but with perseverance and faith in God, they were able to pull through.
Dean’s mother, Neketta, who worked for many years as the director of community affairs for the Tunica County sheriff’s department near his hometown of Horn Lake, Mississippi, instilled many of his values in him.
“When NIL deals started rolling in, my priorities were having them still let me focus on football and whether there was a way to give through the deals,” Dean said. While serving during his childhood, he continued to serve even when he was enlisted in the NCAA and was able to earn his own money.
Georgia suppressed Alabama and Heisman qb, Bryce Young, winning the national championship for the first time since 1980, with a score of 33-18. Young threw for 369 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions, his first in a collegiate game, the second of which was returned 79 yards for a touchdown to seal the Bulldogs’ victory.
The reigning national champions were held to just one touchdown by a defense that ranked first in the country in points allowed (9.5) and yards allowed (253.9).
According to quarterback Stetson Bennett, defense kept them in the game. “while we were stumbling over our own feet the entire first half and then starting out in the second half. They won this game for us,” he added.
Dean, on the other hand, had numerous scholarship offers from the top programs of the country. He and his mother have been very thankful to God for these blessings. “We’re constantly reminding each other every day that this is all just a blessing from God,” Dean’s mother said.
“We just want to walk through these good things that God has provided for us and we’re not going to do it with any pride or boasting or those things. We take a humble approach and we are thankful to have any invites to go play anywhere.”
With prayers, Dean ended up choosing Georgia. Now, he has a national title. “It’s a blessing,” he said. “It’s a blessing that I’m in this position.”
The Bible teaches us that if we honor Jesus before men, he will honor us before the Father. With such honoring comes blessings. We are also laying up treasures in heaven when we do all that we do for God’s glory.
While there is a lot of pressure to be selfish and from fame, Dean’s example of humility and reliance on God is a characteristic to be emulated and to be replicated in our lives. Remember, whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, let us do it for the glory of God.