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Commitment to FSU not Rix Biggest Commitment in Life

As one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a high school senior, Chris Rix was being recruited by over 50 Division 1A schools. In 1999, Chris committed to Florida State University and accepted a full football scholarship. Many people may tell you that this is the biggest commitment a high school athlete could make, though Chris will tell you that this falls well short when compared to the commitment he made to Jesus Christ as a 15 year old from Santa Margarita, CA.

On the football field everything was working out, he was being prepared for competing on the next level but Chris knew that there would be much more significant challenges ahead than just physical. Entering his senior season at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Chris’s maturity in Christ manifested as he realized the importance of a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. “I wanted to have an intimate relationship with Him and have a solid foundation before entering college, I knew my life was about to go through some big changes.” That first big change came when his athletic performance on the football field put him on the radar screen of every major college in the country, recruiters and coaches constantly competing for his time and ultimately his services on the grid iron. Chris knew he would need Christ with him every step of the way. After Chris got to know Bobby Bowden and some of his staff, he knew FSU would be a place where he could grow as a Christian and a football player. “Coach Bowden is a great man of faith, many kids would give anything for that opportunity to play for him, and I didn’t want to let it pass me by”, said Chris.

Bowden has displayed a tremendous amount of faith in Chris since his arrival at FSU, making him the first redshirt freshman to ever start for a Bobby Bowden coached team. Chris certainly didn’t let his new coach down as he picked up the ACC Freshman of the Year award, Sporting News Freshman All-American and voted Top Newcomer at FSU in 2001. Chris is a true leader on the field like most great quarterbacks and his humble servant like attitude make him a leader in the locker room as well. He has dedicated himself to leading by example. His eagerness to learn more and willingness to be mentored is broadening his foundation. Chris and four of his teammates (Mike Boulware, Todd Williams, Paul Irons, and Dominic Robinson) are being discipled by former Seminole and Dallas Cowboy Clay Shiver. “I can’t express enough how much we all appreciate Clay and the time he has devoted to us”, Clay also heads up the Champions for Christ fellowship held at the Tallahassee Morning Star Church where Ron Miller is the Senior Pastor. All five players attend Morning Star and according to Chris, “both Ron and Clay are very instrumental in many of the players’ spiritual growth, including himself.” “I know that God brought me to FSU for many reasons, and I am certain that being surrounded by Godly men like Ron, Clay and Coach Bowden is one of them”.

The pressures of “Big Time” college football will not escape this young talented athlete, especially at a program like FSU that goes hunting for National Championships every fall. Chris is a competitor. A true gamer willing to do whatever it takes to put his team in a position to win. “I try to be as competitive as I can be out there on the gridiron, but I also realize that I am representing Christ”. Chris has unlocked the secret for dealing with the pressures, and it all started when the 15 year old back in California accepted Christ as his personal savior. Since that time he has grown spiritually and is prepared with wisdom. One thing his teammates can count on is that he will always be prepared, disciplined and consistent. According to Chris, “I put my spiritual walk first and trust that if I take care of everything in that department, all of the football accomplishments and accolades will take care of themselves and God will reward me with what He sees fit.” Most FSU fans surely hope that God will see fit to reward Chris and the Seminoles with another National Championship, but Chris knows his ultimate reward is in heaven.

Chris is excited about sharing his love for Christ, on and off the field. "I have tried and will continue to give all the glory to God, directing any attention or fame that comes my way to Him - leading others to the Lord and making disciples." Chris is an athlete willing to stand up and make an eternal difference in someone's life, and he is nowhere near finished.