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Give God Glory

“He must become greater; I must become less.”

John 3:30

Before the 2019 season, not many fans knew the name of quarterback Aidan O’Connell. However, as the 2019 Purdue Boilermakers team was plagued with injuries, Aidan O’Connell got his chance at the helm. Immediately he took advantage, leading a game winning drive for the Boilermakers against Nebraska and becoming the starter for Purdue throughout the rest of the year. From walk on to starter, O’Connell has now penciled his name into coach Jeff Brohm’s QB depth chart. But through all of this, he relies on his faith to keep him grounded.

Born in Illinois, faith has always been an important aspect of life for Aidan O’Connell. But O’Connell says that over the years he has grown in his faith and become more mature in what he believes. “For the most part, my faith has always been an important part of my life. I haven’t always done a good job of making it a priority. When I was a young Christian, I wasn’t mature and often didn’t live how I knew I should be living. As I’ve matured, I have done a better job of making faith more important. Though I still have work to do, I am working everyday to make sure I put God in the driver’s seat.” As O’Connell has continued to grow in his faith, he has been making it a part of his everyday life which ultimately has strengthened him throughout his time at Purdue.

For O’Connell, whenever he takes the field he emphasizes using the opportunity to play football as an opportunity to glorify God. “My faith has influenced my football career in many different ways. Really, my faith has influenced every aspect of my life. The goal of a christian life is to give glory to God in every action you do. Obviously, I fall short of that everyday and rely on God’s grace and mercy to cover me. But, that doesn’t change my goal of trying to give God glory in every action, and that includes football.” Through all of the successes and setbacks, O’Connell has been relying on God, which has given him strength and the will to push forward. “Every opportunity and experience is a blessing and I am just trying to decrease myself so that God can increase in me. As I mentioned before, I fail at doing this everyday. I often let football influence my faith and let a bad practice or game determine my attitude. But I’m trying to continue to grow into someone who puts their faith first in all circumstances.”

The upcoming 2020 football season brings with it a lot of uncertainty, especially in the Big Ten where the decision was originally made to postpone fall sports, but now is looking to start in late October. For Aidan O’Connell, this time of chaos and uncertainty have helped to remind him of what is most important in life. “I’ve learned a lot of different lessons from this battle with COVID-19. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I often let things of this world hold too much value in my heart and mind. I think there are a lot of great things about my life and I am extremely blessed to get to experience those things. However, I found that I was putting football, relationships, school and more in front of my faith. Despite the uncertainty of the upcoming season, I’m trying to find the importance in putting my faith first.”

As O’Connell continues to prepare for whatever the upcoming season may bring for him and the Boilermakers, he is grounded and confident that God has things under control. He has learned to keep God first and make him a priority in his life, and through everything, continue to give God all of the glory.

Ethan Kruse

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