The rookie quarterback who has surprised NFL observers by guiding the San Francisco 49ers to the NFC Championship says his Christian faith has given him peace and confidence amidst the spotlight.
Rookie Brock Purdy started the season as the 49ers' third-string quarterback but became the starter in early December due to a string of injuries, guiding his team to an undefeated December.
On Sunday, he led his team to a 19-12 victory over rival Dallas in the playoffs and into an NFC Championship game at Philadelphia. The winner goes to the Super Bowl.
Purdy, who played at Iowa State, is 7-0 as a starter. The 49ers have won 12 straight games.
"I'm very thankful," Purdy said after the game Sunday.
Despite playing less than half the season, Purdy is being mentioned as a candidate for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Purdy is "definitely the most poised rookie I've ever had."
After his first victory as quarterback in December, Purdy was asked if he plays with a sense of "fearlessness." Purdy said he does.
"You go out there, you prepare as best you can, you get better every single day at practice, and once you get your opportunity, it's what are you going to do with it?" he said. "For me, I believe in the Lord, and I trust in Him. I just go out there, and I just play?"
"The bottom line, my identity is in Jesus.”— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) January 19, 2023
49ers QB Brock Purdy with poignant words on his faith in Christ from August 2021 pic.twitter.com/PlNtmcngMZ
Purdy's Twitter and Instagram bios say "Believer in Christ." His Twitter bio includes a Bible verse, Colossians 3:23, as his profile pic: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."
"My identity is in Jesus," Purdy said.
Purdy recounted a moment at Iowa State when he asked God to forgive him for placing football before his relationship with Christ.
"It was just a great reminder of where my identity is, where it lies," Purdy told the Sports Spectrum Podcast. "And it's in Jesus. And I continue to lean on Him. Again, the next day I didn't go out and throw for 500 yards and was this awesome quarterback, but it was just this peace that I had with Him knowing that, 'Hey, no matter what I'm going to face moving forward during college football, God and Jesus are going to be my identity. And whatever I face, I won't be shaken from it.' I've got a great foundation in Him."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Lachlan Cunningham/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.