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Nigerian-Canadian defensive lineman Israel Idonije talks about his faith and football career with CBN Sports correspondent, Shawn Brown. He said he prayed to God for the opportunity to play in the NFL. In exchange, he would offer his life as a devoted sacrifice to the Lord.

“I’m gonna commit my life and continue just to do everything and use all my resources to change the world around me for the better,” Idonije vowed, as he went about the business of pursuing his football dream.

But his road toward a career as a professional player wasn’t easy to travel. It was fraught with setbacks and false starts, which, at times, discouraged him.

In fact, at one point Idonije felt so embarrassed over what appeared to be irreversible failure, that he shut himself off from the world. “You’re disappointed, you know. It’s easy to go into hiding, which is what I did,” he told CBN.

“I didn’t go out anywhere because anytime I went out it was like ‘Oh Izzy what are you doing home? Aren’t you supposed to be in the NFL…what happened?’”

But his mother gave him solid advice.

“An opportunity’s gonna come—it’s gonna come,” she assured her forlorn son. “If you just sit there, when it comes, you’re not gonna be ready. But you need to go out, work out, do your training, get yourself ready, so that when that opportunity comes, when that door opens, you’re ready to walk through it.”

It’s a good thing he listened.

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