San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan calls 23-year-old quarterback Brock Purdy “the most poised rookie I’ve ever had.”
Purdy’s composure was on full display Sunday night, as the former Iowa State standout led his team to next week’s NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
If you go back to the beginning of this season, Brock Purdy was the team’s third-string QB, behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance went down in week two, followed by Garoppolo on December 4th. Could the Arizona native help orchestrate a Cinderella season, culminating with a win in Super Bowl LVII in his home state? Perhaps – but it seems Purdy has his focus on something higher yet.
“Every time I play—no matter what happens—I want others to see God through my actions,” he has said. “Every time I step on the field I want to bring Him glory. Even when we lose, I point to God and thank Him for the opportunity. Everything happens for a reason; it’s all a lesson from the Lord. It’s a game, it’s not my life.”
After Garoppolo’s injury thrust the rookie into the spotlight in December, the 23-year-old sounded like a seasoned veteran.
“You go out there, you prepare as best you can, you get better every single day at practice, and once you get your opportunity, man, it’s what are you going to do with it. For me, I believe in the Lord, and I trust in Him.”
Purdy has been known to wear wristband referencing Scripture. It was at Iowa State where he committed his life to Christ, literally getting down on his knees on campus after an especially difficult week.
“It was just a great reminder of where my identity is, where it lies,” he remembered. “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.”
Ironically, Brock Purdy is just one win away from going from the designation of “Mr. Irrelevant” to a Super Bowl quarterback. The “irrelevant” reference stems from being the last pick in the last round of last year’s NFL draft. Somebody had to be picked last – and it didn’t bother Purdy in the least. Whether last or first, he was given a chance, and he was determined to make the most of it.
The world’s labels can stick and sting, and they’re often hard to shake. It takes a confident character to ignore being deemed “irrelevant” on such a public stage. But this is one of the many advantages of being a Christian, and Purdy’s witness to biblical truth promises to be strong.
It was the apostle Paul who wrote, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
Many of us will be rooting for Brock Purdy, but with his well-positioned priorities, the grounded and faith-filled young quarterback really can’t lose this coming Sunday in Philadelphia.