NFL quarterback Nick Foles, who will be starting for the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Sunday, says that he wants to become a pastor when his NFL playing career is over.
Foles is serious, too. He told KYW-TV in Philadelphia that he's already taken classes from the seminary during the offseason last year, and plans to continue his studies during future NFL offseasons.
According to Foles, "I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary, and do that in the offseason, because in the offseason there’s a lot of down time, so I wanted to be productive, I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith."
Foles has been talking to groups of junior and high school students since his NFL playing career started, and he told KYW that he encourages teenagers to follow God and avoid damaging temptations in their lives.
Foles, who has bounced around the NFL, primarily as a backup, also credited prayer for the decision to stay in the NFL when he thought of quitting on a number of occasions. He says that if he had decided to quit, "I would’ve done something else and glorified God in that instance. The reason I decided to come back is I’ve loved the game of football since I was a kid. I loved playing sports, I loved being part of a team and I knew as a person that the more growth I’ve had and the more opportunity I would have to glorify God and trust in him would be to go back and play football."
Foles has the opportunity to start in the Super Bowl because of an injury to Eagles' starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who is also one of the NFL's most outspoken Christians. Although Foles' performance in the playoffs has exceeded expectations, Wentz is is expected to regain his starting job when he returns from injury next year.
Foles is under contract with the Eagles at least through next season, although if he performs well in the Super Bowl, another NFL team may attempt to trade for him in order to make him a starter.
The Eagles face the New England Patriots at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.