In today's "Five Minutes with Roob," Reuben Frank chats with Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld:
Roob: We’re here with Eagles quarterback Nick Foles … oh wait, it’s just a joke — it is Nate Sudfeld. How often do you get that?
Sudfeld: I get it often so I wasn’t surprised that you did it right there. I guess there are a lot of similarities, but yes, I get that a lot (more on that here).
Roob: You have been here a little more than a month, how has it been going as far as assimilating to the offense and changing from what you learned in Washington to a new system?
Sudfeld: I feel like it has gone pretty smooth overall. Obviously, it’s a transition to learn the verbiage but concepts are pretty similar in the NFL from what I have seen so far. It is just the different words for the different plays. Just getting in and out of the huddle and seeing what the process is like here. I feel like I am picking it up pretty well and I am in a good quarterback room with Carson and Nick. That has been very helpful as well.
Roob: It was quite a whirlwind. You went through the whole offseason with the Redskins. They drafted you and you were with them in training camp as well as the preseason games and now all of a sudden you are here and looking around like, ‘what am I doing here?’ How jarring was that whole process, and how long did it take to get your feet on the ground?
Sudfeld: It was definitely jarring. Thinking you have your future planned and you are going to be there for a while. You know what, opportunities came up and some doors shut and others open. I’m thankful to still be playing the game that I love and I trust that the Lord has a plan for my life and I am not trying to act like I need to know everything. Trying to go one day at a time, and with that mindset, it has been pretty smooth. Not trying to worry about the distant future, just trying to learn how I can get better and try to help the team every day.
Roob: Do you know who the last player from Indiana to play here was?
Sudfeld: I know Marcus Oliver got picked up this summer for a few weeks. I am not sure.
Roob: It was an offensive tackle named Troy Drake. You have been going over to Africa since you were a teenager doing humanitarian and missionary work over there. Was it just Uganda or have you gone to other countries?
Sudfeld: I have only gone to Uganda three times with my family, and the organization my grandfather started has done over 300 projects in 60 countries, so it’s not just Uganda.
Roob: Tell me what you get out of that and what it means to you to be able to do that kind of work?
Sudfeld: It is interesting that you asked what I get out of it. Early on, I was wondering what would I get out of it and what could I give to it, like how can I help? Actually, going on the trips and going a couple of times I felt, not in a selfish way, that I was getting more out of it than I feel like I am giving. The spirit out there and the people living a simple life, they don’t have much but they have a lot of joy in helping each other. It is humbling to give back and see the tangible influence and help that is going on, so I definitely have a heart for stuff like that.
Roob: What specifically do you work on?
Sudfeld: Last May, we did a sports camp at a school that the organization Assist International helped partner to build. AOET Village, which started as a school with some homes in there that housed orphans, and the village gives them scholarships to go to school. A lot of freshwater solutions, building wells and things like that. Women’s empowerment is a big thing, education and a lot of things like that. It isn’t just delegating on dealing with one particular item, but it is helping out in a broad sense. Helping build from the ground up.
Roob: You made your first trip over at 14 or 15?
Sudfeld: I was 14. I am very lucky. My grandparents said when we turned 13 we could go on a trip with them that year. My older brother went to Romania, my other brother went to Cuba and Guatemala and my cousin went to China. I don’t remember where my sister went and I chose Uganda.
Roob: Your sister Juliana plays volleyball for Wheaton College?
Sudfeld: She did and she just transferred to Azusa, and my other sister Sara is also at Azusa in Southern California, so they go to school down there.
Roob: There are a lot of people in this locker room who haven’t been outside of their hometown and maybe Philly. Do you kind of feel like you have a perspective on life from these trips, and has it provided you a deeper sense of things?
Sudfeld: Absolutely, and not in a way that I look down upon people and say, ‘you have no idea how bad you have got it.’ That is not the attitude you want to have. You have no idea how good you are living is not what it is supposed to be. My whole circumstance of coming here and thinking I have my whole future planned, and it is disappointing and there is so much uncertainty in the air. Given the perspective that there are real problems in the world and I am still playing the game I love, I want to keep playing for as long as I can and get an opportunity some day. In the grand scheme of things, it was easier to say life is still good and life is going well. It is really important to me.
Roob: Is it something you want to keep doing after football?
Sudfeld: Absolutely, I want to go volunteer as much as possible while I play football. We’ll see. Hopefully, I am in the NFL for a long time so that I can afford to do a job that I don’t need to make much money. It has been cool. Last year Kirk Cousins donated a lot because we bet on an Indiana and Michigan State game. So I won a sizable check that is going to build a home in one of those villages.