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Dr. Saturday

Michigan State LB Chris Norman pursues seminary instead of the NFL

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

While many Michigan State players are competing at the NFL combine and preparing themselves for the NFL draft, linebacker Chris Norman, a former captain, is choosing a different path.

Norman told a group during an event hosted by Ionia, Mich., Parks and Recreation that he’s foregoing a career in the NFL to study at seminary.

"In the Gospel there's a story about somebody that stumbles across a field and then they found a treasure hidden in that field," Norman told the group. “As a result of finding that treasure, they sold everything they had so they can buy that field. 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.”

According to, Norman’s life-changing moment came when he suffered a severe elbow injury against Alabama in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. The injury kept him out of spring practice and prevented him from lifting weights. During the time when he thought he lost the No. 1 thing in his life, Norman found Jesus.

Norman, 6-foot-1, 233-pounder from Detroit, was in his church choir growing up, but got the itch to do more when he join the Athletes in Action Sports Ministry and the Ultimate Training Camp, which teaches athletes of all levels to blend sport and faith.

No he says he has no regrets about his decision to pursue a life devoted to Jesus instead of football.

"Life took a complete 180," Norman told "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.”

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