"Sports Illustrated" Video Features Mormon NFL Star Playing "How Great Thou Art," "Nearer, My God to Thee" on the Violin


Thanks to the Deseret News for making us aware of this video.

Most people may not know Miami Dolphins' long snapper John Denney is Mormon, or that he's a violinist. 

But in this Sports Illustrated video, Denney shares that he is both when he plays two LDS hymns to perfection. 

Dolphins long snapper John Denney absolutely shreds on the violin. Does he have the best off-field talent in the NFL? Vote now! — Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 5, 2017

The video, which was posted Dec. 5, is Denney's entry in the NFL's "MVP: Most Valuable Player" contest sponsored by CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and the NFL Players Association. 

Each contestant enters a video displaying talents they have off the field, and Denney, who, thanks in large part to his mom's encouragement, has 30+ years of experience playing the violin, according to And all this experience translates into some serious talent Miami fans can watch for themselves when Denney plays "Nearer, My God to Thee" and "How Great Thou Art" in the video. 

In fact, besides playing hymns for LDS Church services, Denney says he has also played for family and friends at dinner parties and weddings. And who wouldn't want to say that an NFL star was the violinist at their wedding?

The video will be on the Sports Illustrated website, along with other entries, allowing fans to vote for their favorite videos. The top players from the competition will be flown to Hollywood Jan. 25 to compete in an hour-long special while viewers vote for their favorite on

Good luck, Denney!

Lead image from Sports Illustrated
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