Many people in recent memory have had opportunities to make a name for themselves early on in their respective careers. The majority achieved great success in their prime, while others set theirs in motion during their later years. Rarely has anyone been able to do both in a gap of three to four decades apart, and that is what RC Everbeck has done at the age of 48, and he now is the oldest starting college football player in the country.
Richard Charles Everbeck Jr., born on November 5, 1969, is an actor and current student at Santa Monica College, where he is a special-teams ace and safety for the football program. A native of Medfield, Massachusetts, a town 17 miles from the city of Boston, Everbeck said growing up in a city with such history influenced his choices.
“Boston is amazing. Growing up in a climate of sports, they don’t let you out of the city unless you know what’s going on in the world of sports,” Everbeck said while laughing, “It’s a sports world. My cousin’s the controller for the New England Patriots, like she actually writes Tom Brady’s check, my father and uncle were physical ed teachers, you know coaches and that kind of thing. I have had sports my whole life, it’s a great place to grow up.”
Everbeck also said his family has an interesting history. “My family has a lot of American history tied within. We’ve got three people who signed for the Declaration of Independence, we’ve got three presidents in John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln, we had 13 different people on the Mayflower,” he said.
Having attended USC from 1991-95, Everbeck graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance with filmmaking as his minor and is currently an actor and producer in the film and television industry, a career spanning three decades. He starred in films like Zimbabwe and Lie Detector, but his first acting job was in the 1990 classic Pretty Woman, appearing in a memorable scene as a store clerk who took off his tie because Julia Robert’s character wanted to give it to her wealthy boyfriend. He has lived in Santa Monica for 15 years, and just completed his first year on the SMC football program.
Before last season, Everbeck said he hasn’t played football in 30 years and his last game was in high school at the age of 17. He received multiple scholarship offers for football and track and field during his youth, attending Washington State and was a grey-shirt transfer to Arizona for track. He participated in the decathlon and planned to participate in the Olympics, but he did not end up pursuing it because he was already hooked by acting.
He said he thought about the missed opportunity.
“The regret sure, it’s gonna be funny that in two years from now I’m gonna be like, ‘Yeah, I played college football last season,'” he said.
Everbeck said he didn’t think he was eligible to play football given his previous experience but a friend told him the rules differ for two-year and four-year institutions.
After the athletic director told Everbeck he could technically play football, he signed up for a weight class. “I went to this summer camp and was like, how do I make this team?” Everbeck said. “That was the goal at the time, to make the team and I did.”
Head Coach Kelly Ledwith said he met Everbeck and described what his work ethic meant to the team.
“RC was already part of the program when I joined last spring, and I just started coaching him as we went through the spring workouts,” Ledwith said. “I was impressed by his work ethic and desire to learn everything he could about the game and how we wanted to do things.”
Everbeck played on special teams for most of the season, and his hard work paid off by notching his first career start at safety during the last game of the season against Moorpark.
“It was the best feeling ever because you worked hard for it and it motivated me for next season, and now the training that I do is pretty crazy,” Everbeck said. “I’m up at 3:45 in the morning, and I’m at the track at 4:15, and I workout until seven … so every 12 hours during the week I’m doing another heavy workout … I think a lot of athletes have that mentality. You find out what the shortcomings are, and if you’re a true athlete you work on that.”
Everbeck mentioned a few moments that were the highlight of his football career so far. The first was when he finally got his first career start.
“The next one was taking my helmet off and saluting the flag to ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ I got teary-eyed about that one, I’m a real American, and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ means a lot to me.” he said.
The football player will return for a second season on the football program next semester and said student-athletes his age can do things that many believe are impossible to do.
“I’ve said this before, but in The Edge, Anthony Hopkins said to Alec Baldwin, ‘What one man can do, another can do.’ If you’re looking at me, I’m one man that’s done it, so you can do it too,” Everbeck said. “I’m not reliving glory days, I’m making them right now.”