A remarkable 12 months became even more memorable for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy over the weekend. He and his girlfriend, Jenna Brandt, announced their engagement on social media Sunday.
The faith in God that has helped sustain Purdy during his football career is also at the center of his relationship with Brandt, and both of them mentioned the Lord in their Instagram posts.
“My Jenna girl forever. I can’t wait to be your husband and grow together in Christ,” Purdy wrote.
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Brandt, who played volleyball at Iowa State and Northern Iowa, said she loved “everything about” Purdy and specifically mentioned his “heart for Jesus” in her post.
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This time last year, Purdy was just hoping to make the 49ers’ roster after being taken with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He made his NFL debut in Week 5 and replaced an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13, completing 25 passes in a 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. Purdy started the final five games of the regular season, winning all of them and leading San Francisco to an NFC West title.
He became one of the stories of the NFL season and stayed focused on God despite all the attention he was receiving.
“When all the success and everything did start happening, I wasn’t going to change. … It was just, continue to be myself, love on my teammates, be the same leader that I had been all year, keep my eyes on God and nothing more than that,” Purdy said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in February.
One of the passages on Purdy’s mind throughout the season was from Mark 8 when Jesus calls people to pick up their cross and declares that “whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
“If you’re trying to chase status and money and all this kind of stuff, you’ll lose your life, rather than denying yourself, picking up your cross, keeping your eyes on Jesus and His promises,” Purdy said on the podcast. “That’s a life worth living, and that’s how you save your life.”
With Purdy under center, the 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys to reach the NFC championship game. He threw for a career-high 332 yards against the Seahawks and did not turn the ball over in either game.
An elbow injury Purdy suffered early in the NFC championship game left him unable to throw the football as San Francisco lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. As disappointed as he was to get hurt with his team one win away from the Super Bowl, Purdy kept reminding himself that God has a plan for him.
“In that moment, it’s like, ‘Man, how can I keep my eyes on the Lord and truly believe that there’s going to be something that comes from this and He has something written out bigger than we all could ever imagine?’ … I found joy in the moment because of that,” he said on the podcast.
Purdy is undergoing rehab on his elbow this summer, but is expected to be ready for his second NFL season, which begins with a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Aug. 13.
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