(Photo courtesy of CU Athletics)
She picked the right game to attend, because we beat a really good Utah team 27-22 to win the Pac-12 South division title. The fans rushed the field after the game, and in that moment Colorado football was back on top. Thanks to all the adversities God had put in my life, I also wasn't about to let our new-found success get to my head.
During my senior year at Colorado, I was able to recognize how much of an impact other people were having in my life. I remember I would come into the football facility at midnight, and the only people left in the building besides me were the custodians. And I started to realize the role they had in our program.
Our facility is pristine, and one of the reasons that recruits sign up to play here is because of how amazing everything looks. Do you think recruits are going to want to play at a school that has ragged facilities? Absolutely not.
That same mentality applied to my teammates as well. Coach Mike MacIntyre gave me an opportunity to be a captain, and I took advantage of that by making sure I took care of my teammates. As much as I would hold my teammates accountable when they needed to pick it up, I would never hesitate to tell them I love them. It's important to tell people that.
Fortunately, God gave me a platform to show that beyond our locker room. Midway through our season, in a home game against Arizona, our team was just firing on all cylinders. The receivers and offensive line were opening up big holes for me, and helped me run for 281 yards and three touchdowns. We lost the game 45-42, but afterwards the media relations staff was going to have me attend the post-game press conference to talk about my performance.
But I wasn't the only reason our offense put up those big numbers, and you don't win a division with one player. So I brought out the entire offensive line with me.
And when they tried to introduce as “Phillip Lindsay and the offensive line” and I responded with “The offensive line and Phillip Lindsay.”
It was those teammates who helped me rush for 1,474 yards and 14 touchdowns my senior year, but for some reason that wasn't enough to get me invited to the NFL Combine. I waited and waited for that invitation, and it just never came.
I know the reason I wasn't invited, and it's not because I had a bad year. It's because I'm 5'8 and 190 pounds.
Instead of looking at whether or not I can play football, people tried to view me as what I lack, which is a prototypical NFL body. But you know what? I love myself, and not ashamed of how God made me.
It is so frustrating to have people criticize you for something you can't help, but at the same time it has been exciting, because it was just another obstacle that I have to overcome. Kids need someone to look up to – someone to show them that your mentality matters more than your size – and I'm honored I am in this position.
Hopefully, by conquering those obstacles that are in front of me, I'm trying to show people that no matter how much someone tries to keep you down, if you're strong minded and you believe in God and you trust the process, it doesn't matter how much they hide you. Your talent and your character is going to come out.
At my Pro-day in Boulder, I did just that.
I ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, and I've put myself in a position to make an NFL roster this year. But even if the NFL doesn't work out, I've come way too far to be defeated now.
When I was growing up, money wasn't easy to come by. We didn't always have hot water, and I know what it's like to watch as your family struggles to pay the electricity bills. But we had two things...we had God, and we had family. With those two things, the Lindsay family has come a long way, and I’m definitely not about to stop my journey now.
If God has the NFL in my path, I can't wait to share my faith with a new group of teammates. And if God decides it's time for me to choose my other career path, which is to join the police force, I am ready for that as well.
Either way, I'm about to spread the love of God wherever I go.