Les Maruo is thanking God after being chosen as the fourth overall Global pick for the CFL, saying his faith means everything to him.
Twenty-five-year-old Maruo is a Linebacker and the Winnipeg Blue Bomber's first Global pick. Maruo says the first thing he did when he learnt of being drafted was start praying.
"I always say everything happens for a reason. He already has a story written for you but you just have to be faithful to Him and just keep working hard, and just keep believing in," Maruo says.
Blessed to be a Blue Bomber!!!🤞🙏 Thank you God!!!🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌— Les Maruo (@Lesmaruo44) April 15, 2021
Coming to the United States as a young boy from Japan after his father died and his mother remarried, Maruo struggled to fit in. Taking up baseball, along with his younger brother, it was a dream of his to get into the sport professionally. As he got older, Maruo switched to football.
During his time playing, he found a family in his team. Now, he says he has found that same feeling with Bomber leadership.
"Just my story, in general, is just a crazy thing. You cannot come up with a better story. I just think it is all God and I just give all the glory to God."
The player is hoping and praying for a season, as currently the CFL is shrouded in uncertainty. He says his faith is everything.
"I was not always a faithful, Christian guy but when I went to college I was part of a thing called Fellowship of Christian Athletes."
He says the yearly retreats helped him bond with other players and grow in his faith.
"It really changed my life. God is everything to me. Without Him, this would never happen to me."
On Twitter, friends of Maruo are telling him playing for the Bombers is God's plan, something Maruo believes.
"Without Him, this would never be possible."
Maruo says he is outspoken about his love of God, and has a tattoo on his left wrist with his late father John Hutton's name and a cross. Maruo believes his dad would be proud of him, saying he, like God, is always with him.
The player believes that he has guardian angels watching over him. Maruo says he feels the spirit around him, making him the player he is today.