NFL player Godwin Igwebuike shares story of faith, 'unquantifiable' odds in mini-doc

Godwin Igwebuike‘s NFL journey has been filled with joyous moments, plenty of disappointment and unexpected turns. He’s bounced around from team to team and even changed positions after a stint in the XFL.

All the ups and downs of Igwebuike’s career are detailed in a recently released mini-documentary called “The Long Way,” written and produced by Igwebuike himself. The description of the video on YouTube calls it “a story of the promises of God being fulfilled despite inconceivable odds.”

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It also features an original song called “Long Nights” that is available on Apple Music and Spotify. The song talks about finding joy in the Lord through struggles and adversity.

Undrafted out of Northwestern as a safety in 2018, Igwebuike was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played in one game for the team. By the time the 2019 season started, he’d been with four different teams but found himself out of the league.

Igwebuike then joined the XFL, playing for the Seattle Dragons in 2020 until COVID-19 forced the league to shut its season down. He went home to Ohio and stayed in shape to make sure he was ready if an opportunity presented itself.

In the documentary, Igwebuike explains that he would go on walks at night to pray and meditate. It was on one of those walks he heard God telling him he would become a running back. He didn’t know what it meant or how it would happen.


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A post shared by Godwin Igwebuike (@akagodwin)

The Detroit Lions signed Igwebuike ahead of the 2021 season, and sure enough, new head coach Dan Campbell asked Igwebuike if he’d be willing to switch to running back.

“No [kidding], I was just in my spirit praying to the Lord and He’s like, ‘Yo, you’re going to be playing running back,’” Igwebuike told the media after his first NFL touchdown in a 2021 preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “I’m like, ‘Yo, Lord, like chill out. There’s no way. Maybe I’ll play semi-pro somewhere, play running back.’ But He’s like, ‘You’re going to play running back.’ I’m like, ‘All right Lord, we’ll see what happens.’”


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A post shared by Godwin Igwebuike (@akagodwin)

He saw action in all 17 games for the Lions last season and finished with 118 rushing yards on 18 carries. For Igwebuike, God is the only way to explain how he was able to get back into the NFL while playing a different position.

“If an NFL free agent remains released for a full season, they have only a 3% chance of ever getting back in the league,” he said in the documentary. “I missed two seasons and then switched positions. Those odds are unquantifiable. I think it’s a testament that God does not operate within human calculations, and He is not limited by our perceptions of time.”


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A post shared by Godwin Igwebuike (@akagodwin)

Detroit released Igwebuike during roster cuts this past August, which made him a free agent until Seattle signed him on Sept. 27. The 28-year-old said in “The Long Way” that the uncertainty and unpredictability he’s encountered during his career has forced him to lean on God.

“Many days I doubted myself,” Igwebuike said. “Many days I didn’t feel confident. Many times, I felt more fear than courage. [On] those truly humbling days, I had no choice but to surrender it all to God.”

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