Georgia football star Todd Gurley is baptized at Athens Church
ATHENS, Ga. -- University of Georgia running back Todd Gurley earned co-SEC Freshman of the Week honors after his performance against Tennessee this past Saturday, but it may have been his second proudest moment of the weekend.
Gurley was one of 278 people who were baptized Sunday at Athens Church.
Gurley, a freshman from Tarboro, North Carolina, rushed for 130 yards Saturday and scored three touchdowns.
On Sunday, Gurley joined teammates Kenarious Gates and Chris Burnette at Athens Church. All three took part in the mass baptism.
"Were still in the business of educating guys about more than academics and football," said Georgia Coach Mark Richt. "There are some life lessons that need to be taught."
The Georgia football season started on a troubling note when four players were suspended for various off-field issues. The suspensions followed the dismissal of highly touted running back Isaiah Crowell, who was arrested on weapons charges.
Gurley and his teammates are sending a new message.
After making a statement against Tennessee, the three Georgia players made a much bigger statement at Athens Church. The congregation was invited to take part in something the church called "20 seconds of courage," an opportunity to profess their faith.
On his Twitter page, Gurley wrote that "It felt great to see so many people give their life over to the Lord."
Video of the mass baptism can be found on the church's website.
Georgia Coach Mark Richt has publicly expressed his faith. It is what drew defensive back Sanders Commings to the Bulldogs.
"Being a student athlete, we have so many distractions," said Commings. "I'm a Christian. I love Jesus. It's important to have that foundation."
Burnette made news last week when he attended Athens Church the day after the team's victory over Vanderbilt. Burnette proposed to his longtime girlfriend in front of the congregation.