« Football 2018

Patrick Laird

University of California, Berkeley
Running Back
Double-Business Administration, Political Science


Patrick Laird is a double major in business administration and political science who will graduate in December of 2018. He has already completed his coursework in business administration with a 3.58 cumulative GPA and is Cal’s candidate for the Campbell Trophy and the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete awards.

In 2017, Laird’s academic honors included being named CoSiDA Academic All-District, first-team Pac-12 All-Academic, the Jonathan & Judy Hoff Cal Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and a Jonathan & Judy Hoff Cal Football Scholar Athlete of the Week. As a sophomore in 2016, Laird was a second-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection.


Laird’s character is off the charts. He is one of the hardest-working, most pleasant and well-liked people. He has risen from a walk-on to a team captain during his junior and senior seasons through hard work and perseverance, and he has been able to do this due to his respect for others. Laird also has the ultimate respect from his teammates, coaches and everyone in the program including those in the athletic communications department.


In 2018, Laird earned a spot on the prestigious AFCA Good Works Team for his community service efforts, highlighted by the Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge he conducted in the summer of 2018. Laird came up with the idea, presented it to the Cal Athletic department and did the majority of the work on the project himself. Laird had more than 3,600 students sign up for the reading challenge and promoted the event through social media, as well as during visits and speaking engagements with 23 schools and three camps in the Bay Area and his hometown area of Arroyo Grande near San Luis Obispo. He made these announcements between April, and its culmination at the team’s season opener against North Carolina on September 1 where he mentioned those who completed the challenge redeemed a combined 3,000 complimentary tickets and would get the chance to meet him following the game. As part of the promotion of the reading challenge, Laird participated in a series of #ReadWithPat videos with Head Coach Justin Wilcox, Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton, best-selling author Michael Lewis and UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ. He is also on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which includes community service efforts as part of its criteria.


The former walk-on had a breakout season as a junior in 2017 when he was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection and one of 10 national semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy awarded annually to the nation’s most outstanding football player who began his career as a walk-on. He also earned a team-high four team awards as Cal’s Bear Backers MVP Award (offense), as well as being the winner of the Berkeley Breakfast Club Award as Cal’s Outstanding Player in the Big Game, and winning the Stub Allison Award for his work in strength and conditioning.

Last season Laird played in 11 games with eight starts, leading Cal with 191 carries for 1,127 yards with eight touchdowns on the ground. He became the 16th Cal player to rush for 1,000 yards or more while recording the 19th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history. Laird also had 45 receptions, giving him the most by a Cal running back since 1988. After the first two games of his senior season, Laird led Cal in rushes rushes (39), rushing yards (125), receptions (11), touchdown receptions (2), all-purpose yards (192), total touchdowns (3) and points (18).