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Klein talks faith, football

1/29/2014

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

SYLVAN GROVE -- His game plan wasn't working out, so Collin Klein surrendered his heart to God's plan.

That was Klein's message Tuesday night at the sixth annual "Fields of Faith" hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Sylvan-Lucas Unified High School.

FCA sponsor Jana Wehrman asked the students who they wanted to speak this year. She said it was either Klein or "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson.

"And their first pick was Collin Klein, and that's who we went with," she said.

Klein was the star quarterback and Heisman hopeful for the Kansas State University football team as a senior in 2012.

When he first arrived at KSU out of high school in Loveland, Colo., Klein's plan was a quick ascension on the depth charts. But when that didn't turn out to be the case, first not getting the snaps in spring ball one year, then hurting his hamstring in spring ball the next year, then finally a transfer quarterback being brought in Klein's junior year to compete for playing time.

Finally, Klein told a packed bleachers in the school gym, he gave his trust to the Lord.

"It doesn't matter if I take one snap or 100 snaps, if I score a hundred touchdowns or no touchdowns," Klein remembered saying at the time. "It doesn't matter to me anymore, because your plan is better than my plan. And whatever you have in regard to me, I'm good with it, to the depths in my heart."

Klein won the starting quarterback job as a junior. After a close win in the season opener, the Wildcats jumped out to a big lead in the next game, against Kent State. That's when Klein was pulled from the game, and when he said one final test came.

Klein wanted to go back in the game in the worst way, but he told himself to be at peace.

"It was God taking control of my heart," Klein said.

The next week, Kansas State claimed a big win at Miami, and Klein played well. He followed up that successful junior year with a senior season to remember, leading the Wildcats to a share of the Big 12 title and a BCS bowl.

"God used football to show me and make it real his love and his jealousy for our whole heart," Klein said.

Klein got a look from the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent, but he didn't make the team. Things didn't go according to plan.

"They had a lot of positive things to say," Klein said. "I've got a few things to work on, just hoping for another chance."