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How Teammates Led Redskins Linebacker to Christ

CBN.com - Washington Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is one of the hardest hitters in the game. Over the last 6 seasons he’s made a name for himself as a playmaker on special teams. He gives God all the credit for his success. Especially because of the path he took to get to the NFL.

 “I think before I found Christ I was really just living for myself. And went off to college, wilding out, the drinking… the women… the partying… I was kind of the stereotypical, athlete, ‘jock’ that people associate us with, how we act off the field.”

Football was everything to Lorenzo. After playing 4 years of college ball at the University of California, Berkley, he entered the 2005 NFL draft with high hopes. But his name wasn’t called. “I watched the whole draft, thinking I’m going to go 2nd or 3rd round and just, after that I was like, ‘Man, I’m done with this.’ I just kind of broke down and just went and drunk my sorrows away pretty much and I really didn’t handle it the best way.”

Lorenzo tried out for 3 teams as a free agent. They all said, ‘No thanks.’ In 2006, he got picked up by the Washington Redskins on the practice squad. During that time he noticed there was something different about his some of his teammates. 

 “They didn’t really say, ‘I’m a Christian. I’m a Christian. I’m a Christian. You should believe in God.’ I just saw the way they walked through the room, the way they dealt with their families, the way they dealt with their kids, how they approached work every day. Guys like Randle El, James Thrash, Bernardo Wynn. I mean, these guys, It was just pouring out of them. You can’t miss it. If you know El, Randle El, I mean, he bounces around every day. It could be rain, sleet, snow, or shine, he’s walking with God on his shoulder, in his ear, you know, has that Book (Bible) with him. He’s just happy.”

Lorenzo thought that having football was all he needed to be happy, but he realized he wasn’t satisfied. “I think I was missing that in my life, you know, I wasn’t at peace. People perceive athletes to have all this money. So you’re happy. Everything’s good. But the first couple of years in the league, I woke up with a lot of regret. (I) wasn’t playing well in practice squad, wasn’t really achieving anything. And my heart was broken. I was missing something. And I saw these brothers, I said, ‘Man I need to get what they get, what they have, whatever that is, I need it.’”

Lorenzo began meeting with team chaplain, Brett Fuller. He had a lot of questions for him but that year his teammate Sean Taylor was killed in a home invasion. He had to ask himself the most important question.

 “What is this? If I die today, what does my life look like? Am I going to go to heaven?’ I couldn’t really answer that question. So that’s really when I started reaching out to Pastor Brett and meeting with him weekly and just trying to really get in the Book and understand, ‘How I fit in this big picture. Where do I fit in the grand scheme of things? How can I have a better relationship with the Lord?’”

Lorenzo gave his life to the Lord. He was surprised by what started happening in his life.  “I think when you first come to the Lord, a lot of the big things just kind of fall off, like drinking. Like when I drink, I’m just - all the morality goes out of the window as far as right and wrong and all that. And, I mean, that was like one of the first things he chopped off me, ‘Bam!’ So I stopped drinking and really didn’t have the thirst for it anymore because I just knew where it takes me. I think my motivation changed - not living for myself anymore, living to please Him, His standards. Not other people, because I know if I please Him, everybody else is going to be more than happy in what I’m doing.”

Not only was there improvement in Lorenzo’s personal life, but in his professional life as well. He’s no longer on the practice squad but making an impact as a linebacker in addition to special teams. “You know, as I’ve grown in the Lord, my career has kind of slowly but surely just kind of taken off. Each year (I) become more of a prominent player, more of a key person that the team looks towards to make plays. It’s just been great as far as, this is my relationship with Him and my career’s just steadily going up as well. So it just shows a great correlation as far as how the Lord works in you, when you seek Him and live for Him.”

This season as the Redskins try to battle their way back to the glory days of old, Lorenzo is doing what he does best on the field by honoring God on every play.

 “I just want to go out there and honor His name, through the talent that He has given me. So I don’t go out there playing maliciously but, somebody comes and I’m just doing my job, and I just want to show the Lord blessed me. He blessed me with a great body, 270, can run, and lay the wood, you. So I just try to play the game that way, at a high level all the time - with great passion. Through you serving Him, sacrificing, picking up your cross every day, going through some hardships, it’s not going to all be easy, but once you get through that with Him, you’re going to be so much of a better person in the place where you want to be.”

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