Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Jordy Nelson puts faith in God as he officially retires as member of Green Bay Packers

For nine seasons, Jordy Nelson played wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. His career with the storied franchise saw him catch 550 passes for 7,848 yards and 69 touchdowns. His crowning achievement was catching nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in leading the Packers to a title, beating the Steelers, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV.

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On Tuesday, Nelson spoke to the Green Bay media and officially retired as a member of the Packers (after playing the 2018 season with Oakland). He shared some of his favorite memories, most notably the Super Bowl victory in February 2011.

“I think you obviously start with the Super Bowl, to be there and be able to score a touchdown there,” Nelson said. “I still have the football from that touchdown.”

After a standout career at Kansas State, Nelson was selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Packers with the 36th overall pick. After playing sparingly in his first three seasons, it was the 2010 playoffs when Nelson broke out. The following year would solidify himself as one of Aaron Rodgers’ main targets with Green Bay.

From 2013-2015, Jordy had three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons and totaled 35 receiving touchdowns while averaging 93 receptions per season. He was selected to his one and only Pro Bowl in 2014 and ranked No. 18 in the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2015.

Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Nelson told Sports Spectrum in 2011 that his faith was always central to his life.

“Growing up we went to church as a family, and in college Emily (his wife) and I went to church. It was more of, ‘It’s Sunday, so we have to go to church’ type thing. My last couple of years at K-State is when I changed the way I lived my life. I wasn’t a crazy kid, it was just learning more about my perspective on why I do things, not just doing them.”

Jordy and Emily, who began dating in high school, have been married since 2007.

“We go to Bible study together,” Emily told us in 2011, “and I go to the women’s Bible study too. He goes to chapel and he’ll come home and tell me what it was about and we’ll discuss it. Any important decisions that come up, we’ll talk it out together and make the decision based on our faith.”

Nelson said it is through prayer that he stays connected to the Lord on a daily basis.

“A lot of praying — and just putting thought into my daily decisions. Knowing that people are watching, even if I’m not out speaking all the time, people will recognize the way I live my life,” he said. “There are so many athletes that are eager to get up and talk, who memorize Scripture, and then go out and party and have affairs. The two don’t go together.”

As Nelson moves on to the next phase of his life, the Packers begin the next phase of their season on Thursday, kicking off their preseason schedule at home against the Houston Texans.

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