Take that Chris Weinke.
The former Florida State quarterback was 29 when he made his NFL debut, but one hopeful player is hoping to best him.
According to the New York Daily News, Brandon Crawford — a 33-year-old defensive end from Ball State — was invited to the New York Giants rookie minicamp on a tryout. Were Crawford to miraculously make the opening day roster, he would not only be the NFL’s oldest rookie since 1946, but likely the elder statesman in the Giants’ locker room, narrowly edging fellow 33-year-old, Shaun O’Hara.
While Weinke and most other late-20s rookies have baseball careers to thank for their delayed journey to the NFL, Crawford wasn’t exactly taking BP and shagging fly balls. He was a member of the U.S. Marines.
After being arrested in the 1990s, Crawford enlisted and served four years. After being discharged and not having stepped on the field for 10 years, Crawford enrolled at Ball State and walked on to the football team, all while being older than five of his coaches. After a brief readjustment period, Crawford helped lead the team to two bowl games and even added an all-conference selection to his resume.
Succeeding at the college level could have been looked at by many as improbable, but now the ex-Marine is showing no fear looking in the face of mission impossible.
“Age has nothing to do with it if you take care of your body,” Crawford told the Kansas City Star. “My body doesn’t have the wear and tear of guys who have been in the league for 10, 11 years. My body hasn’t taken a beating. I’ve only been playing college football for four years and am in good shape. I still can play.”
The journey may not be easy, but after a decade away from the sport, Crawford could just be finding his groove.