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Father of Packers linebacker living out dream as D1 football player

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Posted at 10:37 PM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 23:39:12-05

“He told me it was the happiest day of his life. He was thrilled,” described Joe Thomas Jr. of his dad. “He said he was out there having fun. He was out there talking trash to the guys.”

At 55-years-old, Joe Thomas Sr. is believed to be the oldest Division I football player after he took a handoff for South Carolina State. His son, Joe Thomas Jr. watched from afar. He was traveling with the Green Bay Packers.

“It made my day to see him carry the ball like that after such a hard road to do it,” Joe Jr. said.

It was a three-yard road that was filled with pride and ended with pure happiness.

“I felt young. I felt like 20 years old,” Joe Sr. said with a laugh. “But I know I'm 55, the oldest guy that's played college football.”

A few years ago, Joe Sr. went back to school to pursue a degree and a dream.

“It's all about you when you do what you need to do,” explained Joe Sr. of his experience. “A lot of people listen to other people and then don't follow up on it. I didn't pay that any attention.”

“He's always tried to out out-compete me, so I always knew he had it in him,” the Packers linebacker described. “He's always working out and things like that because back in the day he used to be a body builder and stuff like that. He always took good care of his body.”

But in that uniform, ”He was a little chubby,” Joe Jr. said jokingly. “He had no swag, no gloves, no anything. He was definitely an old school guy.”

Did he give any pointers after he saw his dad’s carries?

“Yeah, I told him the first step was pretty good,” Joe Jr. mentioned. “It was pretty quick but after that he kind of started tip toeing. I said you need to drive your feet, drive your feet and lower your shoulder a little bit.”

Could Joe Jr. ever do what his father’s doing?

“I hope so,” he said. “I mean I wouldn't do it but I hope I'm in that good of shape.”

Would he hit his dad?

“Would I put him out? Oh yeah, no doubt,” he said in fun. “No doubt. Pay back.”