‘Bigger Than Football’: College Linebacker Trades Jersey For New Faith-Filled Path
Elijah Gilliam #49, Steven Comstock #22, Mac Dalena #0, and the Bulldogs run out of the tunnel at the beginning of the LA Bowl game between Washington State Cougars and Fresno State Bulldogs at SoFi Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Los Angels, California.
Photo by Jason Allen/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Former Fresno State Bulldog linebacker Cam Lamanuzzi decided to trade in his jersey for a new faith-filled path sharing that he knew there was a “reason bigger than football” for why he was at the college.

A native to Fresno in California’s Central Valley, Lamanuzzi went from playing football at his local high school in Fresno to playing for the city college team and then on to California State University Fresno as a Bulldog.

“I didn’t expect to be going this route,” Lamanuzzi told ABC 30 recently. “I knew it was by no coincidence that I was there for a reason bigger than football.”

Lamanuzzi said when he first came to the college under former bulldog head coach Kalen DeBoer he would host bible studies for his teammates with coaches’ permission, the outlet shared.

“There was a point where I knew it was the direction I was going to but I didn’t want to go in that direction if that makes sense,” Lamanuzzi said of playing ball.

Entering his final year of eligibility this past season, Lamnuzzi knew it was time to walk away from the sport he’d played for so long and follow his faith.

The former Bulldog said he went to Coach Jeff Tedford’s office and told him how he was feeling. It was after that the coach suggested the football player become the team chaplain.

“A blessing to be such a recent part of the team because I have a friendship with a lot of the guys,” Lamanuzzi shared. “I mean I still go to some of their houses we still go and grab food we’re all still in a good relationship.”

“I know where they’ve been, I know where they’re at,” he added. “I know how to speak into their situations. I know what it’s like to be an athlete for that to be the most important thing for you at the moment and how heavy that can be.”

Lamanuzzi’s official title now is the assistant chaplain to the Fresno State football team and for the former Bulldog player said he’s right where he wants to be.

“I’m exactly where I want to be at the moment,” the Bulldog chaplain shared. “I’m happy to be a part of Fresno State as a chaplain, I’m loving serving the team and I want to do it as long as I can.”

And when the former football player isn’t helping his teammates, he’s working with a non-profit youth group in the area and speaking at a local church in his hometown.

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