At a Glance
Hometown: Auburn, Nebraska (born October 31, 1979) High School: Chris received All State accolades in three sports (football, basketball, and track) at Auburn High School in Auburn, Nebraska. In football, Chris played tight end on offense. However, he was a game changing force on defense, playing linebacker and defensive line. As the leader of his team, he carried the Bulldogs to the state semifinals twice, only to be beaten by the state champion both years. Chris was also a tremendous basketball player as a 6’4” center. He was named to the Nebraska All State basketball team during his junior and senior years. Kelsay also performed in the Nebraska Track & Field Championship, he finished fifth in the shot put with the best throw of his career of 56- 11 ½. College: Chris redshirted his freshman year at the University of Nebraska. He was a captain of the Cornhusker football team and very bright in the classroom. Chris was a Husker ambassador in 2000 and a member for the university’s ‘Unity Council’. Despite missing five games with a hamstring injury, he led the Cornhuskers in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hurries during his senior season. In 2002, he was inducted into the NCAA scholar-athlete Hall of Fame with a 3.6 GPA. Chris graduated in December 2002 with a degree in finance. NFL Experience: Chris was a second round selection, 48th overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was the sixth defensive end, twelfth defensive lineman taken in the draft. Chris has been a valuable fixture for the Bill’s defensive line since the moment he arrived in Buffalo. Kelsay is one of only three Bills defensive lineman with three career interceptions. In fact, one of his interceptions helped the Bills record their fourth game in franchise history with two touchdowns by interception. In 2008, he was the recipient of the 31st annual Ed Block Courage Award, presented to the Bills player who represents a devotion to sportsmanship and courage. The award winner is a community figure who reflects professionalism, strength, dedication and serves as a role model for others. In 2010, Chris’s Cornhusker teammates voted him team captain for the fourth consecutive year.
Career Bio: PLAYER: University of Nebraska (1998-2002), Buffalo Bills (2003-Present) Career Highlights: • Ed Block Courage Award (2008)• Second-Team All Big 12 Selection (2002)• National Football Foundation/ College Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete (2002)• Brook Berringer Citizenship Team Member (University of Nebraska, 2002)• Second Team All-American (2001)• First Team All-Big 12 (2001)• Earned Verizon, CoSIDA Academic All District VII Honors (2002,2001,2000)• Big 12 commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll (2002,2001,2000,1999)• Big 12 commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor Roll (2002,2001,2000,1999)• First team Academic All-Big 12 (2002,2001,2000,1999) Family Bio: On a cool Nebraska summer night, Chris Kelsay was hanging out with friends at his favorite pizza joint – Lazzari’s. Chris, who was entering his senior season as a defensive lineman for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, was introduced to the roommate of his best friend’s girlfriend. Her name was Natalie, and Chris was drawn to her right away. “After the first month of dating, I realized she was the one,” said Chris. When Chris was ready to propose, he felt the natural place was right back at Lazzari’s Pizza, and fortunately, Natalie said “yes”.As their two- year anniversary was approaching, their first daughter, Harper, was born. Chris described it as “amazing”, and he was in awe of how God works. He added, “If you have ever doubted that there is a God, you need to experience a child’s birth.”Both Chris and Natalie had accepted Christ, and they would need to lean on their faith, and each other, when their second daughter, Avery, was born. Avery was born with a congenital skin condition called nevi, which resulted in large birth marks on her face. The big concern at first was whether the marks were cancerous. For two days, they prayed as they waited for the lab results. Thankfully, the test results were negative, and now Avery is going through a series of plastic surgeries to remove the affected area.As parents, Chris and Natalie focus on making sure their home is a Christian home filled with love by attending church, praying with and over the family, encouraging the girls to know Christ, and making sure not to live a hypocritical life.And as the girls grow, Chris said one of the biggest challenges they will face is temptation through the media and peer pressure. “It is really magnified in our culture; knowing right from wrong is critical,” he said. Being a father to daughters, Chris is willing to set aside the macho image of an NFL lineman and play house with his daughters. He added, “Whatever my daughters enjoy, I need to enter their world, and be available for them.”Chris and Natalie do their best to stick to their date nights, enjoy conversation over dinner and take in a movie. And he often thinks about the night they met. The night he went for pizza with his friends turned out to be the first slice of the rest of his life.Chris is the middle child and second son to Steve and Jackie. Chad is Chris’s older brother and ‘Bristol’ is their younger sister. Chris and Chad were both captains for the Cornhuskers. They were one of only five sets of brothers to be elected as team captains for the University of Nebraska football team. The brothers like to fish in their spend time. In fact, Chris and Chad hosted a fishing show together on FOX Sports News.
• Established the Chris Kelsay TACKLE Foundation, which helps pediatric cancer patients
• 2009, Participated in the Kid’s Escaping Drugs Campaign, ‘Face Your Fears’. The campaign was an educational outreach program that helps kids in school environments. The purpose of ‘Face Your Fears’ is to reach children at an age where difficult choices pave way for future success• Routine donator and supporter to the Norfolk Family YMCA Youth Contract Football League, where Chris grew up playing during his childhood• Volunteers for the ‘Circle of Friends’ program, which helps children diagnosed with cancer and provides funding to create life changing opportunities• Supports and volunteers at the annual Carls Banks Foundation’s Surf and Turf Challenge Weekend. The funds raised are used to ease the burden of medical expenses for our nation’s youth who suffer head injuries while participating in organized athletics• Very active community leader as a student-athlete at Nebraska• Regularly participated in the University of Nebraska Shadowing Program, American Education Week, The N4A Transition Program at Lincoln High and The Auburn Tour of Excellence, and a volunteer hospital visitor• Volunteers to visit hospitals in order to encourage and raise spirits of inpatients
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