Spring 2021 Magazine

Packers punter JK Scott keeps faith in Christ ahead of NFC championship game

JK Scott hopes he doesn’t see the field much when he and his Green Pay Packers teammates go on the road to play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game on Sunday.

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Not because he doesn’t want to be there. He wants a win as badly as anyone. Rather, it’s simply because the second-year punter knows that if his job isn’t needed, the Packers are probably threatening to score.

The apparent paradox is something all punters must overcome, and for Scott, his teammates and coaches know the value he brings to the Packers. He averaged 44.0 yards per punt during the 2019 regular season, while 29 of his 77 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.

Green Bay thought enough of Scott’s punting ability to draft him in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. It was a welcome surprise. Scott did not expect to be drafted by the Packers, the team he adored even while growing up in Denver.

In fact, for much of Scott’s childhood, punting in the NFL wasn’t much of a consideration. Scott was a soccer player until his father encouraged him to try kicking a football. Scott was a natural at the sport and soon turned himself into one of the best high school punters in the country. He accepted a scholarship to Alabama and punted for four years with the Crimson Tide, winning national championships in 2015 and 2017.

Yet now, even as Scott has found success during his two years in the NFL, he finds his value not in his on-field performance but in Jesus Christ.

“I know that right now, God has a plan for me and if it were to change and weren’t to be in football, I know that He would bring me to a place where I would need to be,” Scott told hercampus.com in December 2018. “My life is not centered on my career or anything like that. There is so much more to my life than just my career.”

In a video posted by sportsfaith.com, Scott explained that for a long time he did not have a real desire to love and pursue God. But he finally attended a campus ministry event at Alabama after he was invited seven different times. It was then, the first time Scott was honest with God, that God began to renew his heart.

“The more I’ve been honest with God,” Scott said, “the more and more and more I’ve grown in love with Him and the more passion I’ve had for Him, the more joy I’ve had in experiencing His presence.”

Scott goes on to explain in the video that there are certainly temptations as an NFL player, but every believer in the world faces temptations from the enemy. Scott seeks to resist, not in his own strength, but in the strength of his Savior.

“The Bible says it’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20), so God’s made a way for me to walk in His righteousness. God’s made a way for me to be an overcomer,” Scott said. “Because Jesus overcame the world, I’ve overcome the world. … When you carry Jesus, when you carry the light of the world, it doesn’t matter the darkness that you walk into. He wins every single time.”

Watch Scott deliver his powerful testimony in the eight-minute clip:

After Scott’s second national championship at Alabama in 2017, his faith was on display for the world to see when the Crimson Tide visited the White House. Scott asked President Trump if he could pray with him. The president agreed. In prayer, Scott led the mixed gathering of some Crimson Tide players and some White House staff.

As Scott lives out his faith in the NFL, he knows that he’ll be overshadowed by teammates like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and others. And he’s OK with that. He hopes that when his name is mentioned, it is Christ and not himself who is magnified for all to see.

The NFC championship game will be Sunday at 6:40 p.m. ET. A victory would put the Packers in the Super Bowl for the sixth time in team history.

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