Winter 2022

Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny 'playing to glorify Him and Him only'

Every time Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny steps onto the field, he takes a moment to say a quick prayer and thank God for the opportunity in front of him. The ritual helps Podlesny remain humble and grateful.

“Faith simply helps me stay grounded,” he told His Huddle in August. “In college football, playing at one of the best colleges in the country, there are a lot of distractions. Being able to come back to center and know that this is only possible through God is truly how I continue my career. At the end of the day, I’m playing to glorify Him and Him only.”

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The St. Simons Island, Georgia, native made two field goals and four extra points — including what ended up being the game-winner — in his team’s 42-41 win over Ohio State in the Peach Bowl on Saturday that sent the Bulldogs back to the national championship game. The defending-champion Bulldogs face TCU at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday night.

Podlesny took over kicking duties in the 2020 season, which also ended in him making a game-winning kick in the Peach Bowl against a team from Ohio. The 53-yard field goal remains the longest of his career.

“God put me here, God is good, because it’s just amazing to be here,” he said after the game, while also tweeting the same message.

He connected on 22 of his 27 field goal attempts during Georgia’s run to the national title in 2021, and is 25-of-30 this season without missing a kick from less than 40 yards. That earned him first-team All-SEC honors.

Podlesny lists Romans 12:2 in his Instagram bio and often cites Bible verses in captions for some of his posts.

 

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A post shared by Jack Podlesny (@jack.pod)

 

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A post shared by Jack Podlesny (@jack.pod)

He told His Huddle that his faith journey began at an early age, but he did not make it a priority early in his college career. Recommitting to his relationship with the Lord gave Podlesny a new appreciation for God’s consistent and unconditional love.

In October, Podlesny talked about how he deals with the pressure of playing one of the sport’s most stressful positions for one of college football’s premier programs in an interview with On3.com. He explained that reminding himself he is playing for an audience of One helps him stay relaxed in the high-pressure situations.

“For me, it probably comes from first of all just knowing that I’m not playing for anyone except for God, just giving Him all the glory on top,” he said.

Podlesny will carry that same mindset into Monday’s showdown with the Horned Frogs. A win would make Goergia the first team to repeat as national champions during the College Football Playoff era. The last team to repeat was Alabama in 2011 and 2012.

Regardless of where his journey takes him after his time at Georgia comes to an end, Podlesny wants to be known for spreading God’s love to as many people as possible.

“I hope to one day leave a legacy with people that, no matter what position you are in during your life, you can love those around you the way that God does for us,” he told His Huddle.

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