Practice and chalk talk were over for the day, and rather than expend energy in downtown Memphis, a few members of the University of Utah football team were relaxing in a hotel room and playing cards, as a Liberty Bowl match-up with Southern Mississippi loomed.
When the conversation turned religious and Eric Weddle said he had attended LDS Church meetings with his old girlfriend, his Mormon teammates perked up.
"Really," said Justin Hansen, a teammate who would become a close friend of Weddle. "You should come over to our house and meet the missionaries."
The charismatic Weddle accepted the invitation with a poker face. Cards were shuffled and the game continued.
The response was so nonchalant that Hansen wasn't sure if the all-American safety was bluffing or genuinely interested.