My main goal since I was eight years old was to play in the NFL. My father played with the Dallas Cowboys for a time. We were a very athletic family, so I wanted to play in the NFL. After my senior high school football season, I was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens. It was exciting. A few months before I got picked up by the Ravens, Nick Reveiz, our middle linebacker, and I went to church. We went to the altar and prayed for each other. We said, “God if this is what you want us to do with football, open the door, and allow us to walk through it. If this is not what you want us to do, close the door so abruptly that we know only you did it.”
I get picked up by the Ravens. This is the best time of my life. My dream is coming true. Two days later I failed the physical examination and was released from the team. I was sent back to Knoxville, Tennessee, after being in Baltimore for only two days. So God opened that door, allowed me to walk through it to Baltimore, but then He closed so abruptly that I know only He did it. Was I upset with my dream being cut short? Kind of, but did I know that God was in control and that He had everything in his perfect plan? Yes.
The biggest turning point was my best friend dying. God had to allow that to happen for me to be able to go to Tennessee and dedicate every snap to him. My friend’s name was named Chris Mosby. He was a kid that when I first stepped into the halls of Christian Brothers High School, he took me under his wing. He taught me everything I needed to know about football, basketball, high school life, anything I needed to know. Any question that I had, he had an answer.
It was fun to be able to play basketball and football with this kid. He was an awesome athlete, an unbelievable athlete since he was a little boy. We played AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball together when we were nine and ten years old. In the city of Memphis, Tennessee, they always referred us as “Chris & Chris at Christian Brothers.” It was pretty cool to have that title with my best friend.
My mother comes in the room and says, “Chris, I need you to sit up.” It’s seven o’clock on a Saturday morning. We had just returned from a late trip. I said, “Mom, what do you want? Get out of my room.” She persisted, “Chris, I really need you to sit up. I need to tell you something.” I sat up and said, “Okay.” She said, “I want to tell you that Chris died.” I said, “Chris who?” She said, “Chris Mosby.” I said, “Mom, get out of my room. That’s not funny. I don’t like playing that kind of game.” At that point, my brother and sister walked into the room, crying uncontrollably. At that moment, I knew it was true. It was a wake-up call for me. It was like God was telling me, “This is a kid that had everything, but this is how in control I am. I took him without the blink of an eye.” That got me down deep. That’s when I decided to get serious about my relationship with Christ.
A lot of people, especially college kids, say, “I’ll wait until I get out of college. I’m going to have my fun in college now. When I get out of college, I’ll get serious in my relationship with Christ.” Chris Mosby’s death made me realize I don’t have time to wait. I’ll get that right tomorrow. I’ll get it right next year. My buddy being taken quickly gave me an opportunity and opened my eyes to know that there might not be tomorrow. There might not be a next year for you to get right, so why not live it out now?