Chris Norman, a Michigan State senior linebacker, is foregoing the NFL dreams being pursued by many of his peers to go to seminary school.
Norman, the 2013 defensive captain at Michigan state, has had an estimated 197 tackles in 50 games, 32 of which he was a starter. In spite of his talents as a football player, Norman recently explained his reasoning for wanting to attend a theological school
"In the Gospel there's a story about somebody that stumbles across a field and then they found a treasure hidden in that field. As a result of finding that treasure, they sold everything they had so they can buy that field," Norman said in an Ionia Sentinel-Standard report. "That's pretty much what happened to me when I found Christ, so once I met him and fell absolutely in love with him, everything else was not as attractive in comparison."
The MSU linebacker grew up singing in a church choir, but spoke about developing a relationship with Jesus Christ two years ago. He decided to shift his priorities after tearing his triceps tendon and suffering damage to the ulnar collateral ligament of his elbow in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.
Norman recalled having to miss his spring practice and training.
"At the moment, football was No. 1 in my life, and that's what I was worshiping " Norman told MLive.com last summer.
Norman said he did not know how to respect others, and was a shy person who let his anger get the best of him at times. The Detroit native who grew up in a church choir said he began to change after joining Athletes in Action Sports Ministry and attending the Ultimate Training Camp in Colorado.
"Life took a complete 180," Norman said in an MLive.com report. "When I did it, people were really confused and probably fearful because it was like, 'Where did you come from?' You're not the same person that you used to be, and honestly, I wouldn't have any other way."
These days, Norman says his most important relationship consists of the one he has with Jesus Christ.
"It trumps football," Norman said in the MLive.com report. "It trumps other relationships. It trumps everything. It's really been the foundation of my life ever since then."