NFL DraftProspect Interviews

NFL Draft Diamonds 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Patrick Laird, RB, University of California, Berkeley

2017 Accolades & Statistics:

  • 2017-All Pac-12 Honorable Mention
  • 191 carries – 1,127 yards – 8 TDs – 5.90 YPA
  • 45 rec – 322 yards – 1 TD – 7.16 YPR

What is your name?

  • Patrick Laird.

Where do you play College Football?

  • Cal.

What position do you play?

  • Running Back.

What is your height/weight?

  • 6’0” 200lbs.

Did you play any other sports growing up? If so, what were they?

  • Basketball and Track.

Who is the toughest player you have competed against in College?

  • In practice, it was pretty tough going against my teammate Devante Downs (Cal LB 2014-2017; 2018 7th Round, Pick 225, Minnesota Vikings).

Are you listening to music before a game? If so, what?

  • Always. The Weeknd. Been listening to him before games since my junior year of high school.

Do you have any superstitions before a game? If so, what are they?

  • None.

Who is your role model & why?

  • My older siblings. They are all pretty incredible people and I look up to them for various reasons. My older sisters are really smart. One is a lawyer and the other is a nurse. And then I always looked up to my brother athletically. He played college football and inspired me to do the same. He told me I wouldn’t be better than him in football. I wanted to prove him wrong.

While in College, what has been your favorite & least favorite class?

  • My favorite classes have been the various Economics courses I’ve taken. I’ve always liked the subject. I had to take a Marketing class for my business major and I didn’t take to the subject too well.

Outside of Football, what has been your favorite experience while in College?

  • This is a tough question because I’ve had a lot of great experiences. I think just the time outside of football hanging with my teammates have been some of my best experiences. I live in a big house with other football players and we always manage to have a good time.

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL Team & NFL player, & why?

  • The 49ers were my favorite team because my dad is a fan. I don’t really remember but when I was younger I was a huge Jerry Rice fan. Now, I don’t really have a favorite team. I just like to watch football and I have a few favorite players that I like to watch.

If you could be in any movie of your choice, what would it be & what character would you play? 

  • I like the Bourne movies and similar ones to those. I guess I would play one of those type of characters who have a number of different highly-specialized skills and can get out of any situation.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who are they? 

  • Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo Da Vinci and Warren Buffet.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose & why?

  • Lincoln. He’s one of the greatest presidents and is a huge reason the United States exists as it does today. I admire his temperament and aspire to be a leader of his caliber one day.

Who is your favorite superhero & why?

  • Never been too big on superheroes.

What is your definition of hard work?

  • People like to say they work hard. But few like to work when the work gets hard. Those that can, I believe, display hard work. It’s easy to stay after a workout and do some extra exercises, but when you’re in fall camp and you’re sore and you need to push through a tough period, I think that’s when the real definition of hard work is put to the test.

What is the most unexpected lesson you learned while in College?

  • Opportunities may be few and far between but what you do in between is probably more important than the opportunity itself.

What is something you wish you could go back & tell yourself as a High School Freshman?

  • Habits are important. Start building good ones now.

Why do you wear #28?

  • It was given to me.

You are pursuing a double major in Business Administration. What made you pursue that subject?

  • Business and Political Science. I chose Cal because of its great business program and then I’ve developed more of an interest in Political Science since I’ve grown older. I think some knowledge of the two can be used for some positive influence if done right.

What is the best part of your hometown, Arroyo Grande, CA?

  • Probably the weather.

You had a breakout Junior season at Cal (1,127 yds. rushing, 9 TDs, 45 rec., 322 yds.,  TD). How did it feel to see all of your hard work pay off?

  • It was surreal. I’m pretty sure I was the only one who thought that I was capable of a thousand-yard season. I never mentioned the beliefs I had of myself to others and so it was fun accomplishing that and seeing people’s reaction.

Beginning on June 1st, you will be hosting the Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge. This program is for students currently enrolled in grades 1-6. Participants who complete the challenge by 8/24/18 will get an opportunity to meet you & receive 4 tickets to the season opening game against UNC. This is such a great program to get kids involved with reading, what made you want to make this challenge a reality?

  • It was a game halfway through the season where this dad came up to me with his son and showed me this #28 Cal jersey that they had made for him. At that moment, I started to realize the platform I now have and the positive influence I could harness. I’m passionate about reading. Summer learning loss, caused by a lack of reading over the summer months is a huge problem for elementary school kids. I pitched the idea for the challenge to the Athletic Department and they got on board. I already have over 450+ sign-ups and I’m doing whatever I can to get more!

Who do you choose, Jordan or LeBron?

  • Kobe.

Are you a PS4 or Xbox One guy? What games are you playing right now?

  • Neither. I haven’t bought a video game console since probably elementary school.

What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete?

  • I rushed for over 200 yards against Oregon State and had no idea until someone told me after the game that I had that many yards. It didn’t really sink in until the next day. I was just in the zone that game and I’ll probably never forget how I felt that day.

If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?

  • For quality education to be granted to every kid in the world, for continued health for myself and my family and then maybe a photographic memory.

What is your hidden talent?

  • I can do a front flip and a back-flip.

If there is a book being written about Patrick Laird, what is the title?

  • We’ll see. I would like to write a book one day. Don’t know if it’ll be about me, though.

What are three things on your “Bucket List?”

  • Write a book, play in the NFL, design/build my own home.

Are you binge watching anything on Netflix or Hulu right now?

  • I’m not a crazy binge-watcher but I’ve been making my way through Peaky Blinders recently.

If you had one free hour each day, how would you choose to use it?

  • I don’t think there’s a day when I can’t find one free hour. I think everyone can do that no matter how busy they think they are. If granted an additional hour, I’d probably work on something: school, football, recovery, promoting my reading challenge etc.

If you could run over one NFL DL/LB/DB, past or present, who would it be & why?

  • A couple of our current defensive staff played in the league so maybe one of them. That’s the safest answer I can come up with.

What are the goals for 2018, both individually & for the University of California, Berkeley football team?

  • Win as many games as we can. Individually, I would like to contribute to as many of those wins as much as I can.

If you could give NFL scouts three words to describe the type of man they are getting in Patrick Laird, what would they be?

  • Hardworking, tough and dependable.

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