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Father of Packers’ Joe Thomas Playing College Football at Age 55

Sports News – If you heard about a father-son combination of an NFL player and a college football player, you’d probably assume that’s a pretty old player in the NFL to have a son old enough to be in college. But in the case of Joe Thomas Sr. and Joe Thomas Jr., the son is in the NFL and the father is in college.

joe-thomas-father-footballJoe Thomas Jr. is a 25-year-old linebacker for the Packers who got the first start of his NFL career on Sunday against the Titans. Joe Thomas Sr. is a 55-year-old walk-on running back at South Carolina State who is hoping to get on the field for a game and become the oldest player in the history of Division I college football. The father, who got the idea to enroll at South Carolina State and become a walk-on for the football team while his son was at the school, says he holds his own at practice and believes he could contribute on the field.

“I believe that if the coaches looked past my age and just let me play football,” he told David Gardner of Sports Illustrated, “I’d steal someone’s position.”

Joe Jr. thought it was a little awkward at first when his dad decided to join the college football team with him, but he’s a big fan of his dad’s.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my father,” Joe Jr. said. “At first, I thought it would be really weird. When my teammates found out, they’d say things like, ‘Your dad is coming for your spot.’ But he’s a grown man, and I wasn’t going to get in the way of his dreams. I’m happy for him now.”

So can Joe Sr. really play? South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough is candid enough to admit that he’d only put his 55-year-old walk-on on the field if the score is out of reach in the fourth quarter. But Pough is willing to do that, and Joe Sr. is expected to play tomorrow.

“I know it would mean the world to him and it would be special to our fans. If we get a possibility to put him on the field, we will,” Pough said.

That would be a special moment for Joe Sr., and for his biggest fan in Green Bay.

by Michael David Smith, From NBC Sports

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