When Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars suffered an ankle injury against the Cincinnati Bengals, thoughts of Nick Foles immediately crossed many fans’ minds. Yet, the ex-Philadelphia Eagle hero has moved on and is now a gold medallist in our favorite sport.
Quite The Success
The Former Super Bowl MVP Foles spent the 2023 season as a free agent but has since transitioned over to pickleball and has become quite the success.
Although Jaguars’ Coach Doug Pederson likely has Foles on standby, the 34-year-old quarterback might be too occupied now securing victories in pickleball tournaments to return to Jacksonville.
Foles has raised his pickleball to tournament standard and demonstrated this improvement by claiming gold in both 3.0 mixed doubles and men’s doubles at the recent PPA Finals in San Clemente, California, alongside his wife, Tori, and friend Jim Davenport.
Foles’ success across multiple sports isn’t surprising. During his high school days at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, where he shattered several of Drew Brees’ records, he also excelled in basketball. He received recruitment offers from Baylor, Georgetown, and Texas alongside his football prospects.
Choosing to play football for Michigan State initially, Foles later transferred to Arizona State, where he earned admiration from one of the NFL’s finest, creating a fan in former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Regret At Not Sharing The Field With Foles
Reflecting on his time at the University of Arizona, Gronkowski expressed regret at not sharing the field with Foles due to back surgery.
“Foles was actually my quarterback at the University of Arizona,” says Gronkowski. “Foles was about to take over going into my junior year, and we had a great connection going. Unfortunately, I had back surgery and missed my whole junior year and never got to play with Nick Foles.”
Teaming up on the pickleball court might be an interesting proposition for the duo. Foles could benefit from having a four-time All-Pro tight end like Gronkowski as a doubles partner. Notably, Gronkowski’s close ties with Tom Brady, an investor in Major League Pickleball, add to the intrigue of the sport.
Indeed, we’ve featured Gronkowski in a couple of our articles as he’s been known to pick up a paddle on the odd occasion. Most notable in match-ups with Brady.
Don’t Dwell On Your Mishaps
In a conversation with Pickleball.com’s Will Daughton, Foles highlighted the importance of a quarterback’s ability to handle disappointment and then move on:
“There are plenty of shots where you dink it into the net, and there’s nothing more demoralizing than doing that, but you’ve got to move on and play the next point and just hit the next shot,” he says. “You get a lot of those plays that you want back, but you have to move forward.”
The recent pickleball event also featured another NFL alum, former wide receiver Golden Tate, who competed in the men’s 4.5 doubles division.
About Nick Foles
Foles, hailing from Austin, Texas, graduated from Westlake High School in 2007. His high school football tenure saw him break numerous records previously held by his future NFL counterpart and fellow pickleball enthusiast Drew Brees.
Attending the University of Arizona, Foles was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He notably set the NFL season record for the best touchdown–interception ratio and led the Eagles to a division title, earning Pro Bowl honors.
Foles later returned to the Eagles, guiding them to their first Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl LII and clinching the game’s MVP award.
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