Who’s that clean cut young football dude? Surely not go-to-grizzled-faced Tommy Lee Jones? Yup. That’s exactly who it is.

And that’s not the only thing about TLJ that defies expectations. Did you know, for example, that he went to Harvard? He certainly did — and his roommate was some guy named Al Gore. Jones graduated Cum Laude with a thesis called “The Mechanics of Catholicism.”

Tommy Lee Jones, #61 of the Harvard Crimson, poses in Boston.
Harvard/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

As for football, Tommy Lee Jones played on an extraordinary team. That year, 1968, Harvard was undefeated. What’s more, in the season’s big Harvard vs. Yale game, Harvard came back from 16 points down to tie it up. The game became known as “The Tie.” Jones called it “the most famous football game in Ivy League history.”

1971: Tommy Lee Jones on the set of “One Life To Live”
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Just one year after leaving Harvard, Jones moved to New York City, and his acting career began with a role on Broadway. The following year, he made his big screen debut. A decade later, in 1980, received his first Golden Globe nomination, the first of four.

1977: Jones in ‘The Amazing Howard Hughes’
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

And 20 years after that, at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Tommy Lee Jones would give the nominating speech for the guy he used to share a room with — Al Gore.

1977: Jones as Howard Hughes in a made for TV movie
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

These pictures show his gradual transition from fresh-faced to lined with years of experience.

1977: Jones as Hughes. He brushes up well.
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
1976: On the right in ‘Baretta’
Walt Disney Television/Getty Images
1978: A formal portrait
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
1981: In ‘Back Roads’
CBS Photo Archive Getty Images
1985: Jones and cigar
LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Tommy Lee Jones in 2019
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

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