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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Dustin Colquitt: 7 Minutes

By Kirk Noonan
Jan. 29, 2012

There are some things most players just don’t do during games in the NFL. Praying that an opposing player has peace and does his best is one of those things. But that’s exactly what Dustin Colquitt, punter for the Kansas City Chiefs, did when his team took on the Denver Broncos last season.

“We’re division rivals and our teams don’t like each other,” says Colquitt. “But seeing my little brother [Britton] on the field in Arrowhead getting ready to punt there for the first time was fun. I wanted to see him do well, so I prayed that he’d have peace, strength and be of sound mind.”

Colquitt regularly prays for other players too — namely, his two best friends on the Chiefs — long snapper Thomas Gafford and kicker Ryan Succup. “We constantly pray for each other,” says Colquitt. “I feel an overwhelming sense of peace, and I don’t worry.”

Colquitt has been a follower of Christ a lot longer than he has?been a punter. He recalls growing up having his parents as teachers in Sunday School. During summers he went to Christian camps with other kids from his church. He also remembers praying with his parents and watching them live out their faith.

“My mom and dad pushed the one thing on me that had eternal importance,” says Colquitt, “and that was to know Christ as my Savior. They didn’t care if I played football or not.”

That might seem perplexing if one considers that Colquitt’s father, Craig, punted for the Pittsburg Steelers when they won two Super Bowls in 1979 and 1980.

“Even though my dad played professionally, he just wanted us to be happy,” says Colquitt. “He was always more concerned with us having a relationship with Jesus Christ and how we treated others.”

Though Craig let his kids chase their own dreams, he was more than willing to coach his sons the moment they decided to play football. For Dustin that didn’t happen until his senior year in high school.

“My dad didn’t care if we played football or not, until we put the pads on,” says Colquitt with a laugh. “Then he was at our practices every day to help us figure out what we were supposed to be doing.”

Following his senior year, and with only 33 high school punts under his belt, Colquitt boldly attempted to make the University of Tennessee football team as a walk-on. He was red-shirted his first year, then got his start the following season. Soon after, his coaches gave him a scholarship. During his senior year he was named a consensus All-American.

The Chiefs selected Colquitt in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft, 99th overall. After seven seasons, Colquitt has accumulated more than 100 punts of 50-plus yards. This past September he even got to do some passing when he turned a fake punt into a passing play for a first down.

At the end of the day, says Colquitt, football is an awesome game, but what it has allowed him to do is so much more important.

“I’m a Christian, a husband, a father, a brother, a friend and then a football player,” he says. “In society, being a football player is probably the most important thing, but to God it isn’t. I only play football for seven minutes each season, but it’s an earthly platform that God is using to spread His Word. To me that’s cooler than any punt I’ll ever make.”

KIRK NOONAN served as managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and is communications director for Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Mo.

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