Before launching his BYU football career, Brady Poppinga spent two years in Uruguay serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a new interview for the Green Bay Packers’ “Alumni Spotlight” series, he points to that time away from home as the foundation for his success on the field.

“It was good at preparing me to eventually be a professional football player,” he said.

Poppinga explained that missionaries, like NFL players, need to be self-motivated. The discipline he learned in Uruguay served him well in college and in his professional career, he said.

“It taught me a lot,” he said, noting that time away from football also increased his love for the game.

After his mission concluded, Poppinga spent four years at BYU developing his defensive skills. He played multiple positions on the defensive line, eventually landing at outside linebacker.

“I literally was a Swiss Army knife, (although) not to the degree of Taysom Hill,” he said in the new video.

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Poppinga was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2005, the same year in which the team nabbed quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He spent six seasons with the team before doing one-year stints with the then-St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys to close out his NFL career.

In his “Alumni Spotlight” interview Poppinga praised the Green Bay culture and said it was “beautiful” to be part of the team.

“The whole organization is set up for the success of the team,” he said.

Poppinga currently lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and their four children. He owns a fitness company called Customized Fitness Systems.

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