I, like most, certainly had a few aspirations when I was 49, but one of them was certainly not playing college football with guys less than half my age.

Well Ray Ruschel 49, of Wahpeton, North Dakota, just across the Red River from Breckenridge, Minnesota, have higher aspirations than I did when I was 49.

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According to the Washington Post, Rusche decided at the ripe old age of 49 to go back to school and get his business administration degree at North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton. When he found out that just by being a student he was technically eligible to try out for the school's football team.

“When I decided to get an associate’s degree and found out there was a football team, I got to thinking about it,” said Ruschel, a defensive lineman who wears number 94. “And I decided, ‘Why not?’ ”

Rusche called Coach Issendorf, who happens to be a year and a half younger than Ruschel, and asked if he could try out for the team. Coach Issendorf had a few reservations until Ruschel stopped by the coach's office to introduce himself. Coach Issendorf noticed Ruschel was in pretty good shape and said "why not?

Rusche was a bit worried about the other much younger players accepting him on the team but it turns out, he had no need to worry. “Was I nervous? Of course,” he said. “I was wondering if the guys would accept me. They’re young and have a lot of talent, and here comes this old guy.”

“On the first day of camp, we thought he was a new coach, so yeah, we were definitely surprised when he said, ‘No, I’m actually playing,’ ” said Preston Yohnke, 20.

“But when we saw what he could do, we were impressed,” he added. “To be 49 and competing pretty well on the defensive line? That’s crazy. Ray earned our respect.”

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