Georgia 4-star TE Commit Jeb Blazevich Opens Up on Faith, Football and Tim Tebow

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJune 20, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Jeb Blazevich is a young man who says he lives his life according to his Christian faith.

He's also the No. 5 tight end in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and he's committed to Georgia.

According to him, though, Blazevich the man of faith and Blazevich the football player are one and the same.

Faith and football have been intertwined throughout the sport's history. NFL great Reggie White was known as "the minister of defense." Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner was known for being open about his faith, as was former Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy.

Players gather in prayer circles after games, and teams have chaplains who players can go to for issues of faith, if they choose to do so.

Faith, though, is a polarizing and oftentimes sensitive subject with football fans and people in general. Just look at former Heisman Trophy winner and New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow, who is extremely open about his beliefs.

In a recent phone interview with Bleacher Report, Blazevich was just as open as he gave his thoughts on faith, football and, yes, Tebow.


BR: When you committed to Georgia, you said that God was calling you there. As a football player, how do you think faith and football should be integrated?

Jeb Blazevich: Honestly, I think that question in of itself is a little bit skewed. It's not really faith and football. I think faith basically is everything. ... I think that faith is who you are and what you're about.

One of the things that our chaplain always says is, 'You're a Christian who plays football.' It's not really two separate things.

Christianity is a huge part of my life and that should show in every aspect of my life. On the football field, I always view it as 'Alright, God already knows what's going to happen. Either I'm going to blow out a knee or catch 90 touchdown passes.'

All I can control is my effort.

So on the field, how I glorify God is just giving my maximum effort all the time and doing the best I can, especially in preparation.


BR: Coach Mark Richt is very open is his faith as well. How much did that impact your decision to go to Georgia?

JB: That was a very important factor. A man of faith, if he's leading a program, the program's going to be done right. ... That's very comforting.

Even more so, my position coach, coach [John] Lilly. Because let's be honest, if I'm seeing and talking to Coach Richt in his office, I'm probably in trouble. It's even more important to me that Coach Lilly is such a strong man of Christ to, and I'll be around him pretty much every day.


BR: What are your thoughts on Tim Tebow?

JB: He's a great spokesperson for Christ. I do look up to him and respect him, and I am a Tebow fan.

However, I do hear some people saying he gets cut because he's a Christian, he's not starting because he's a Christian. I don't believe in that at all. It's the NFL, if you play good you're going to play.

I just think he's a quarterback, he's developing.

In terms of him being a Christian leader, you just see it based on the guys in the locker room that they really do respect him and follow I do respect him.


BR: Do you agree with how openly he shows his faith?

JB: I definitely feel like we do need those people out there. That's definitely not my style. One of my favorite quotes is 'Share the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary'.

I do feel like his style is his own. There are plenty of people doing the same things for other causes—I'll say it like that—just as outspoken. I feel like now, just where we are as a country, it's just because he's a Christian that people are sort of shocked by it.

I do think he's doing the right thing. He's standing up for what he believes, and he's using his platform. I mean, we don't know how much longer he's going to be in the NFL, so any camera time, any publicity he gets, why not share it like that?

I definitely agree with how he's handling his business.


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