College football world reacts to 49-year-old freshman

47-year-old freshman

Typically, a true freshman on a college football team is either 17 or 18 years old when they enter fall camp, but North Dakota College of Science Wildcats freshman nose guard Ray Ruschel is quite a bit older – roughly three decades older, in fact.

According to a report from Jack Wallace of ValleyNewsLive, Ruschel has been an active duty member of the United States military for the past 17 years and is currently in the North Dakota Army National Guard. He found out about the team from a friend in his army unit and decided to try to make the team.

“I want to live life,” Ruschel said. “If I had the chance and I didn’t take it, I would regret it. I had a chance, and I’m taking it, and I’m living life to the fullest. And I’m having a blast with everybody playing. Out here playing with these young kids and actually being able to keep up! Surprising myself a lot.”

Oddly enough, Ruschel is actually a year older than his college football coach Eric Issendorf. Perhaps that leads to an odd dynamic in the locker room, but Issendorf gave no indication of that. He had nothing but positive things to say about Ruschel.

“He’s always in a good mood, he’s always just Ray,” Coach Issendorf said. “He’s always in a good mood, just ready to work and do what he can for his teammates.”

While Ruschel’s coach and teammates have embraced him, a 47-year-old freshman is still an odd story, and the college football world had plenty to say about it.

He may be twice his teammates’ age, but that’s not stopping him. That’s admirable.

[Valley News Live]