Latter-day Saint Life

More Returned Mormon Missionaries Than Ever Are Playing in the NFL


Garrett Bolles, James Cowser, Harvey Langi—these names may sound familiar. That's because they are currently playing on NFL teams—and happen to be returned missionaries. But they're not alone. In fact, there could more returned missionaries playing in NFL than ever before. 

No official records have been kept, but experts who follow Mormons in the National Football League believe that there were more returned LDS missionaries on NFL rosters when the 2017 season kicked off earlier this month than at any time in league history.

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Through opening weekend, Sept. 7 to 11, no fewer than 10 professional football players who also served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dotted the rosters of the NFL’s 32 teams.

The list includes five players who starred at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, three who played at the University of Utah, one who suited up for Southern Utah University and one who went to UCLA.

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