Faith has played a role in Bison athletics in many ways. Athlete’s faith has been who they are and Danny Luecke and Nate Safe have made it their mission to provide channels for athletes to live a Christian lifestyle. We caught up with the former Bison offensive linemen and the current Bison defensive linemen and talked about how they are keeping Bison and athletes everywhere committed.
Nate Safe has been proactive with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that is present in 33 high schools across North Dakota.
Photography by J. Alan Paul
Nate Safe wasn’t your prototypical Christian athlete during his time at NDSU. He was on top of the world as one of the centerpieces of the Bison offensive line from 2004 to 2007. But after his playing days, he was a man without a path in life. “I just had been so zoned in on what I had been doing and life was about me,” Safe said. “It wasn’t until college was over, because before life was good and easy being a Bison. Not until after that did I started to struggle and I was like, ‘Well what’s the point now?’”
Today, the 29-year-old is using his experience to teach young athletes in North Dakota high schools about having faith and that God is always there for you. “As a Christian athlete, I think a God has given us all gifts…I think we better use it to the greatest of our abilities as a way to honor Him for giving it to us.” said Safe.
Safe said he is impressed with the Christian presence on the Bison football team this year and that it is a lot more predominant than it was during his career.
“The stuff that the players do on their own is phenomenal,” Safe explained. “But those guys like Brock (Jensen), Grant (Olson), Danny (Luecke) and Colton Heagle have done multiple events where they come and speak; at a father/son events and events throughout the huddles. And the kids think it’s great because the kids really look up to these guys. They’re just fantastic role models because they are willing to take their time –which they don’t have because they are busy as can be– to come do stuff with us.”
Safe’s passion is organizing Fellowship of Chistian Athletes (FCA) huddles to local high schools and is currently in charge of the entire East Region of North Dakota. To learn more about FCA in North Dakota and to get involved with bible groups, huddles and camps, go to www.fcand.org/.