Mormons in the NFL, Andy Reid’s son and other interesting notes

With a new football season comes a handful of new Mormons in the NFL.

Star Lotulelei is with the Carolina Panthers; Ziggy Ansah plays for the Detroit Lions; Manti Te’o and Brad Sorensen are teammates with the San Diego Chargers.

Carolina Panthers' Star Lotulelei (96) runs a drill during practice in July. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Carolina Panthers’ Star Lotulelei (96) runs a drill during practice in July. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Lotulelei, a defensive tackle taken by the Panthers with the 14th pick in April’s draft, was recently featured in a Charlotte Observer article by Tom Sorensen.

“He’s been everything we thought he could be and maybe a little more,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera told the Observer. “He’s done some really good things. He’s shown his athleticism, he’s shown his power and strength and he’s a sharp kid.”

The Lions are pleased with Ansah’s performance in the preseason thus far, according to the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz likes what he sees in the fifth overall pick from BYU.

Detroit Lions' defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah.

Detroit Lions’ defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah.

“There was a lot of things he needed to take a big jump from Week 1 to Week 2, and I think he did,” Schwartz said. “He didn’t show up in the stat sheet, but he played a lot more consistent and was much more effective within our defense. So I thought that was a bright spot.”

Sorensen, who served an LDS mission in Spain, is competing for a quarterback job in San Diego. He is doing a respectable job for a rookie, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. One blogger (Boltbeat.com) has been impressed by Sorensen’s play and has nicknamed him “The Latter Game Saint.”

San Diego Chargers quarterback Brad Sorensen (4) passes during a pre-season game against the Seattle at Qualcomm Stadium Thursday, Aug. 8. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

San Diego Chargers quarterback Brad Sorensen (4) passes during a pre-season game against the Seattle at Qualcomm Stadium Thursday, Aug. 8. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

In college football notes, Chris Foster of the LATimes.com recently reported that UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo has been temporarily moved from guard to left tackle to replace an injured teammate. Su’a-Filo, who served a mission in Florida, will be an important part of the Bruins’ offensive line this season.

Speaking of missions, third-year Temple running back Spencer Reid, the youngest son of the former Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Andy Reid, is leaving the program to serve a Mormon mission, according to the Temple University athletic department and Phillynews.com. Reid played in four games last season.

In rugby news, Will Hopoate will soon return from his mission to compete for the Parramatta Eels. Triplem.com.au is reporting that Hopoate will honor his $850,000-a-year deal.

All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu watches Australia rugby players during training in  Auckland, New Zealand, in 2011. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu watches Australia rugby players during training in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2011. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Finally, former New Zealand All-Black Jonah Lomu has updated his book, “Jonah: My Story.” Lomu is considered rugby’s first truly international celebrity and he remains one of the game’s greatest heroes. In a Q&A featured on the Waikato Times, Lomu is asked “If you could make the whole world read one book, what would it be?”

“The Book of Mormon,” he said.

4 comments

  1. Scott Thormaehlen

    Not to rain on your parade Trent.

    “Sometimes we think of resting from our labors as merely letting the hay baler stand idle in the field or putting a Closed sign on the business door. Yet in today’s world, labor includes the everyday work of our lives. This could mean …athletic competitions, and other pursuits that take us away from Sabbath day worship and the opportunity to minister to others.

    “Trifle not with sacred things,” the Lord revealed to the Latter-day Saints, as if to remind us of what He told His disciples: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.””

    https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/the-sabbath-and-the-sacrament?lang=eng

    If we Mormons are discourage from participating and even watching athletic events, I can’t imagine the purpose of this article other than noting that there are members of a particular faith that play in the NFL. I understand the Church wants to fit in and seem more mainstream, but compromising the Sabbath is not the way to sell it. Seeing as the article will likely reach few non-members, I’m not sure who the audience is supposed to be.

    • 1byufan

      in response to Scott Thormaehlen
      great command as lone as you don’t shop on Sunday !!!

      How ever I have found that in are economy we point a lot of fingers at others how do not obey the golden rule like we do.
      I think that yes it is wrong for the nfl to play on Sunday .

      I think throe that you will find that thy are told as was I in retail that that is when the job is !!!
      but to get on nfl players who are working on Sunday, when we go shopping or to the movies on Sunday is being sac religious .

      I am sorry If I a fended you are any one else with the fact that this is realty.

      I have however found in todays job market you take what you can get.
      and yes that sometimes is saying I realize you are busy on Sunday so my church is at 9am so can I work after 1 pm and so on .

      when we go shop on Sunday !!!
      so that people like me who have worked in retail have ben told !!!

      If you want a job you will work on Sundays her in Utah ware like other States Sunday is the busiest day !!!

      you might also consider that the Sabbath day is different for each person.

      • Scott

        No one is excusing shopping, breaking the sabbath is breaking the sabbath; we have all done it. In the past I have worked on Sundays but have also made it a point in my life to seek after work/career that will not allow that. However, I find it ironic this story is in the Faith section, when the whole purpose is just to mention NFL players who served missions. Shouldn’t this be in the Sports section? More importantly, why get excited about listing them off from a LDS newspaper when the Church is also telling you not to watch them anyway? I guess some of us are lucky to have DVR or maybe some of us just like to catch the highlights.

        • Derick

          I have never read such ignorant comments. Please find me where The Lord or prophets have said not to watch the nfl? I would really enjoy reading any sort of lds literature that has that commands that. Just because you like to judge the actions of others who share your same faith by no means makes you better. It’s people like you who give the church a bad name and a negative image.

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