Blake Ferguson – Buford High graduate, member of Christ Covenant Church in Smyrna, and current long snapper for the LSU Tigers – uses his platform as a collegiate athlete to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through his actions on the field and one-on-one. GUS STARK/LSU Athletics Department
By Will Hall/Baptist Message
BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) — Blake Ferguson has had a remarkable football career in a unique position.
He came to LSU as the country’s number one long snapper out of Buford High School, and last year was named best collegiate long snapper.
On top of that, he took over the job for the Tigers from his brother Reid, another Buford graduate, who was signed after graduation as the long snapper for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Scouts are predicting Blake will play at that level on Sundays, too.
But Sundays have another special meaning for the professional football prospect. Ferguson is a committed Christian. His home church is Georgia Baptist congregation Christ Covenant Church in Smyrna.
As much as Blake contributes to the success of the Tigers on the gridiron, observers say he makes an equally important impact off the field.
Andy Stroup, the greater Baton Rouge area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, called Ferguson “the main guy” in LSU’s FCA chapter.
“He has been a part of the leadership team – going on his third year,” Stroup told the Baptist Message. “He is a tremendous man.
“When Blake walks into the room the energy goes up,” Stroup continued. “He has allowed us to speak life into him, and he has done likewise with other players.”
Ferguson said he tries to take that same energy for learning more about and sharing Christ with others into the locker room and onto the field.
“As an athlete, my faith has always had a huge impact on my approach to the game,” Ferguson told the Baptist Message in written comments. “At FCA, we talk all the time about ‘doing sports God’s way.’ This means that every snap we take, every time we run down the court, whatever it is, we represent Christ in the way that we play.”
His faith even penetrates his game day preparations.
“Each day before our team meeting, at the top of my notebook I write ‘Glorify God with your work today,'” he said. “To me, this is a daily reminder to myself of the reason that I do what I do.”
There is a “culture of dependence on the Lord” on the team, Ferguson said, citing in particular coach Ed Orgeron’s spiritual leadership.
“While [Orgeron] can get fired up on the sidelines and during practice, he also takes time to spend time with the Lord, and as a player that means a lot,” Ferguson said. “He is in chapel every week and encourages players to be in there also. And he leads the team in prayer following every practice and every game, showing our consistent dependence on the Lord to provide for us every single day.”
After dismantling Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semis 63-28, the top-ranked Tigers will take their 14-0 record to face Clemson, also 14-0, for the National Championship Jan. 13 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans.
But Ferguson puts these accomplishments and accolades in perspective: “I have an incredible platform as a collegiate athlete to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a large number of people whether it’s with my actions on the field or literally sharing the Gospel with them one on one.”
Will Hall is editor of the Baptist Message, news journal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, where this story first appeared.