Football

From college walk-on to NFL player: Mission Prep’s Patrick Laird makes Miami Dolphins roster

Mission Prep grad Patrick Laird prepares for last game as star Cal Bears running back

Mission Prep graduate Patrick Laird plays his last football game for Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 26. He went from a former walk-on to earning a scholarship to now staring as the Bears’ top running back.
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Mission Prep graduate Patrick Laird plays his last football game for Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 26. He went from a former walk-on to earning a scholarship to now staring as the Bears’ top running back.

Patrick Laird continues to beat the odds in his football career.

The former Mission Prep and Cal star has now ascended to the highest level. Laird was one of six running backs kept by the Miami Dolphins on the final day for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 53 men, meaning the former college walk-on will now suit up on Sundays.

The Dolphins announced their final roster moves at 4 p.m. EST Saturday ahead of the final week of preparation for next Sunday’s season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.

Laird, a 6-foot, 205-pound back known for his versatility, was picked by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent this spring. But he ended up leading all of Miami’s running backs in preseason camp, racking up 114 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in four games.

He also impressed as a receiver out of the backfield, catching three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. Add his blocking ability to the mix and he may just be the most well-rounded running back on the Dolphin’s roster.

“It’s hard to put it all into words,” Laird told The Tribune on Saturday. “It’s an extremely gratifying feeling. Making the roster was my first and only goal since I showed up in Miami. Now that I’ve accomplished that, I’m focused on getting back to work and getting a win this Sunday.”

The Miami Herald reported that several players could be at risk of being replaced by players claimed off waivers in the next 24 hours. But as of now, Laird has gone from being barely recruited out of tiny Mission Prep to an NFL player.

The former Tribune County Player of the Year was one of six undrafted free agents kept by the Dolphins. Preston Williams, Shaq Calhoun, Jonathan Ledbetter, Terrill Hanks and Montre Hartage also made the team.

Tribune reporter Nick Wilson contributed to this report.

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