Who Is The Oldest College Football Player?

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While playing football in your late 30s and early 40s is not unheard of in the NFL and has become increasingly frequent in recent years, playing collegiate football at this age. Some of the oldest players on this list, who are in their 60s and 50s, are old enough to be their teammates’ grandparents! All of these athletes managed to play at least one football game while attending college later in life is a testament to how far they have come.
As of June 2019, this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed. Please check back for updates.

7. James Stefanou

Oldest Age While Playing: 32 years old

College and Location:  the University of Colorado Boulder in Boulder, Colorado

Year(s) Played:  2017 – Present (as of 2019)

Position:  Kicker

James Stefanou of the University of Colorado Boulder is now the oldest active college football player in the US, at 32 years and ten months. When Stefanou, an Australian native, joined his high school’s football squad in 2017, he had no prior experience with organized American football. However, he did have some previous experience playing American football with ProKick Australia. This program assists Australian athletes in improving the abilities they need to transition to college and NFL football in the United States.
Even though Stefanou did not grow up playing American football, he has always been a competitive individual. Stefanos played soccer and was a member of the Australian U19 team, a junior advancement team that serves as a feeder squad for the country’s Olympic team.

Did You Know?

James Stefanou scores 60-yard field goals regularly in practice and aspires to be a kicker in the National Football League.

6. Tim Frisby

Oldest Age While Playing: 40 years old

College and Location:  the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina

Year(s) Played:  2005

Position:  Wide Receiver

Even though Tim Frisby was 39 years old when he stepped into football tryouts at the University of South Carolina in 2004, most of the other players were in their 20s or early 30s. Frisby was still in excellent physical condition despite serving as a U.S. Army Ranger in the first Gulf War and the Kosovo conflict.
When Frisby was 40 years old, he was still competing as a wide receiver for the University of South Carolina. His time spent playing football drew a great deal of attention, and Frisby even considered making a film on his life. During the most current update, in 2014, Frisby was employed as a personal trainer at a Gold’s Gym location.

Did You Know?

Tim Frisby appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” during the height of the media coverage of his story.

5. Bob Schembre

Oldest Age While Playing: 52 years old

College and Location:  Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri

Year(s) Played:  2008

Position:  Linebacker

It’s not clear how much is known about Bob Schembre – for whatever reason, his tale did not receive much attention from major news outlets – but he did join the Westminster College football team in 2008 when he was 51 years old (he turned 52 later in the year).
Schembre’s two kids had previously played football for Westminster, and Schembre set up a meeting with the coach under the pretense that he wanted to chat about his sons’ past football experience. Schembre, on the other hand, informed the coach that he wished to participate in football for the school. The coach gave Schembre a chance, and he eventually made the team.
Schembre, in contrast to the other players on this list, had never participated in organized football before, but he had served in the Navy and was still in reasonably good shape.

Did You Know?

Following a long career in the ministry, Bob Schembre received a theology degree from Westminster College and coached a high school football team for home-schooled students.

4. Joe Thomas Sr.

Oldest Age While Playing: 55 years old

College and Location:  South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Year(s) Played:  2016

Position:  Running Back

Joe Thomas Sr. is the father of Dallas Cowboys‘ quarterback Joe Thomas Jr. is the oldest individual to ever compete in NCAA Division I football. He is 71 years old. Thomas, who was 55 at his participation, played for South Carolina State University in 2016. While playing in the game, Thomas, a running back, gained three yards the carrying the ball.
Thomas grew up in the vicinity of South Carolina State University and had long dreamed of playing collegiate football there. Even though Thomas played football in high school and was an excellent running back, he could not participate in the sport while he was still young. When Thomas Jr. started school, Thomas Sr. decided that he would as well and that he would play with his son in the schoolyard. Unfortunately, even though they were both selected for the team, they could not play together because Thomas Sr. was injured in a vehicle accident. After a few years of recovery, Thomas Sr. was able to return to collegiate football for the first time.

Did You Know?

Joe Thomas Sr. was largely deaf throughout his childhood due to his ears being clogged with dirt and grime from years of working with his parents on numerous farms. Unfortunately, no one realized that Thomas’ ears were clogged until he was 17 years old, by which time he had already spent years battling to hear correctly.

3. Mike Flynt

Oldest Age While Playing: 59 years old

College and Location:  Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas

Year(s) Played:  2007

Position:  Linebacker

Mike Flynt was the oldest known NCAA college football player in history until he was surpassed in 2009 by Tom Thompson, who became the oldest known player. Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, welcomed Flynt back as a re-enrollment student at the age of 59 to continue his football career there for one more year. Flynt admitted that he had always regretted being thrown from the team before his final year of college – for getting into multiple fights on campus – and that he still did.
Flynt, unlike some of the other older athletes on this list, was in excellent physical condition since he had maintained his fitness while working as a strength and conditioning coach at universities such as Nebraska, Oregon, and Texas A&M. After learning that he was still eligible to play football at Sul Ross State, Flynt decided to try out and was accepted onto the team.

Did You Know?

During Mike Flynt’s 2007 season with the San Antonio Spurs, he had a dedicated fan club known as the “Sul Ross Baby Boomers.”

2. Tom Thompson

Oldest Age While Playing: 61 years old

College and Location:  Austin College in Sherman, Texas

Year(s) Played:  2009

Position:  Kicker

Tom Thompson, then a graduate student at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, made history in 2009 when he participated in a football game despite being 61 years old. Even though Thompson only played in one game that season, he scored the game’s only touchdown for Austin College by converting the extra point. Before the 2009 game, Thompson had not participated in organized football since he was in high school, about 50 years ago.
While Alan Moore was the oldest NCAA college football player ever when he competed in a game in 2011, Thompson currently holds the record for being the oldest NCAA college football player ever (Moore played for an NAIA school). Kick Start, Thompson’s autobiography, provides a detailed account of his life and achievements.

Did You Know?

The Austin College jersey worn by Tom Thompson during his record-breaking performance is on display at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana, as a tribute to his feat.

1. Alan Moore

Oldest Age While Playing: 61 years old

College and Location:  Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama

Year(s) Played:  2011

Position:  Kicker

61-year-old Alan Moore joined the Faulkner University football team, making him the all-time oldest collegiate football player. During the 2011 season opener, Moore converted an extra point to give Faulkner the lead early in the second half, giving them their first win.
Before that, Moore had previously played collegiate football for Jones College in Mississippi in 1968. On the other hand, Moore was drafted and served in the military for a year during the Vietnam War. Following the war, Moore worked in the construction industry for several years until the economy declined in 2009. After watching a football game at Jones College with his grandsons, Moore decided he wanted to give football another shot now that he had more spare time. The opportunity to play for Holmes Community College came through the encouragement of a coach, and Moore eventually transferred to Faulkner University, where he made the squad.

Did You Know?

Alan Moore opted to wear old-fashioned square-toe kicking shoes and kick in the old style rather than the new soccer manner, which he described as “a personal preference.” Moore’s kicking shoe was decorated with “believe” in bold letters.


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