Before he took his first college carry, Frank Gore Jr. succeeded in another task: making football fans feel their age.
Gore Jr., a former star at Miami-Killian High (Fla.) and son of the NFL great, is a true freshman for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Like his father, the younger Gore is a small but productive running back.
Here’s how Gore Jr. fared in his first game on the college football stage, as well as why he felt “so sad” when it ended.
Frank Gore Jr. just made his college football debut
ESPN’s Field Yates captured the feeling many football fans around the world felt watching Southern Miss host South Alabama.
“It’s wild to see Frank Gore, Jr. making his college football debut tonight,” Yates wrote.
Standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 165 pounds, Frank Gore Jr. isn’t the largest running back in college football. Both listings may even be generous.
Still, Gore Jr. impressed enough in his first training camp that he drew the start for USM. Gore totaled 32 yards on 12 carries for an ugly 2.7 yards per attempt.
The blame isn’t on Gore, though. USM averaged just 2.6 yards per carry as a team.
Midway through the game, Frank Gore Sr. tweeted his approval and excitement.
Gore Jr. nearly had an early contender for best touchdown of the season, though. As South Alabama’s defense forced Gore down near the goal line, the freshman lobbed it to quarterback Jack Abraham for a touchdown.
Officials called the play back, though, and deemed Gore’s forward progress had been stopped.
Gore Sr., now with the New York Jets, begins his 16th NFL season on September 13 against Devin Singletary and the Buffalo Bills.
The elder Gore mentored Singletary in Buffalo last year.
Gore is college football’s newest ‘legacy player’
Football fans who felt old watching Frank Gore Jr. play should pay attention to the rest of college football this season.
Many former NFL stars, some of whom played in the 2010s, have sons currently on teams. Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., son of the former Eagles star, is a projected early-round pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Terique Owens — son of Terrell Owens — and Michael Irvin II each play for Florida Atlantic. Irvin is competing to start at tight end after FAU’s last starter, Harrison Bryant, joined the Cleveland Browns.
Owens is a receiver who joined the Owls last year.
FAU also has a commitment from Sheduer Sanders, son of NFL legend Deion Sanders. Sheduer is a qurterback in Texas who will join the Owls next year if he signs with them.
Patrick Surtain Jr., son of the three-time Pro Bowl defensive back, is a starting cornerback at Alabama.
Frank Gore Jr. tweeted he felt “so sad” after his debut
Frank Gore Jr. summed up his first college game in just three words.
“Im so sad,” Gore wrote on Twitter.
Gore had a reason to be upset. Southern Miss lost to South Alabama, 32-21, on their home field.
The Golden Eagles were outscored 19-11 in the second half and allowed 526 yards of total offense.
Southern Miss is off until September 19, when they open Conference USA play at Louisiana Tech.
South Alabama opens its home slate on September 12 against Tulane.