Nakobe Dean of the Georgia Bulldogs football team has been thanking God for the many blessings he has received throughout his career. The junior inside linebacker led his team to victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama. With a “top-ranked defense,” Georgia took the title of national champions, which they have not held since 1980.
The Christian Post reports, after his team won the championship, Dean took a knee and bowed his head while on the football field. In a postgame press conference, Dean shared, “I had to thank God […] Without Him, none of this would have been possible. Every step of the way, I thanked Him for putting me in this position, putting my team in this position, and I just thank Him for everything.” According to The Christian Post, Dean, who was a “five-star recruit considered by many to be the nation’s top insider linebacker prospect,” had many scholarship offers from the leading programs in the country. Having started with such high hopes and continuing to succeed, Dean’s gratitude to God always remained prominent in his life.
Since he was a child, Dean’s life was focused on God and doing good work for his community. His mother, Neketta, instilled humanitarian values in Dean who grew up volunteering alongside her since her position as director of community affairs for the Tunica County sheriff’s department brought them to many community outreach events. Now, Dean’s position and NIL deals have helped him to share his compassion with even more people by giving back to the community. ESPN highlighted Dean’s sponsorship of a bed at a homeless shelter in Athens, Georgia, and his work with the Boys and Girls Club.
Dean has made it a point to constantly remember that his blessings come from God. He shared that, “we just want to walk through these good things that God has provided for us and we’re not going to do it with any pride or boasting or those things. We take a humble approach and we are thankful to have any invites to go play anywhere.”
With his faith carrying him through, Dean is an inspiration to athletes and young people all over the country. There is no doubt that the world of sports comes with many ups and downs, and being able to navigate them with God, prayer, and faith can help athletes stay on a healthy path in their careers. The success Dean is humbly grateful for is reaching others in ways that will likely encourage them to have their own dreams and set goals for themselves. Dean has become a role model, and that is a blessing for which we can all be thankful.