Lafayette, LA (KADN) -- On a 90 degree afternoon at St. Thomas More fotball practice, Maurice Leblanc is right next to the football field on the track. On first glance, he looks like your average grandfather enjoying practice. However, there is no reason for Maurice to just watch. He's 74 but he's still jogging down the track to stay in shape.
"I'm older than alot of there granddaddy's and I'm out there sprinting from here to...well you saw," Maurice explained. "I'm healthy and that's what I'm grateful for."
His original path wasn't on the track but in the endzone. Maurice was the leading rusher for LSU in the 1968 Peach Bowl. He scored the game-winning touchdown to beat Florida State. Unfortunately, an ACL injury ended his chance at an NFL career. 42 years later, he started competing in the triple jump, long jump, and 200 meters at the senior Olympics. His best finish 2nd nationally at the triple jump jumping more than 26 feet.
"When I first started this, I was 64 years old and I weighted 255 pounds," Maurice said. "I had acid reflux and sleep apinea. Then once I lost about 50 pounds all that just went away."
It not just running that keeps maurice in shape. Every dad he eats a leaf off his moringa tree. He has five planted outside his house. It protects against diseases everything from high blood pressure to depression. He heard about it at a Senior Olympics meet from a fellow competitor that doctors told had just six months to live. Eight years later the man is still alive.
"Chew on them and chew on them," Maurice said in his backyard. "Let the juice buid in their and swallow the juice and after a while you will have a reminent of a leaf left. That's all you do."
Maurice wants to win at national meet one day by either outjumping or outliving the competition.
"I'm on moringa leafs," Maurice said. " I last awhile hopefully and maybe the rest of them will go by the waistside."