Patrick Laird Selected To Wuerffel Trophy Watch List
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Cal senior running back Patrick Laird earned preseason accolades for a national honor for the fourth time Thursday when he was selected to the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy. The award is given annually to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
Laird is also a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® honoring student-athletes for community service, as well as on the watch list for the Maxwell Award given to college football’s top player and a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker awarded to the top running back.
Semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy will be announced November 1 and finalists November 19. The formal announcement of the 2018 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City on December 4. The presentation of the 2018 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 50th All Sports Association Awards Banquet on February 15, 2019 in Fort Walton Beach.
Laird is one of eight Cal players to have totaled 12 spots on preseason watch lists or be recognized as candidates for national awards in 2018. The others include junior safety/kick returner Ashtyn Davis (Paul Hornung Award), senior tight end Ray Hudson (John Mackey Award Watch List), senior inside linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk (Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award®), senior offensive tackle Patrick Mekari (Outland Trophy), junior wide receiver Kanawai Noa (Biletnikoff Award), senior center Addison Ooms (Rimington Trophy) and senior wide receiver Vic Wharton III (Biletnikoff Award).
Below are notes on Laird with an extended bio available by clicking on his name.
Patrick Laird, RB, 6-0, 205, Sr., 2L, Arroyo Grande, CA (Mission Prep)
• A 2018 national honors candidate who is on watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Wuerffel Trophy, a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® and a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award
• Has also earned second-team preseason All-Pac-12 honors from Athlon and Lindy’s while he is a fourth-team pick of Phil Steele
• An honorable mention All-Pac-12, Cal Bear Backers Offensive Team MVP and CoSIDA Academic All-District® selection as a 2017 junior, as well as one of 10 national semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy awarded annually to the nation’s most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on
• Set all of his offensive career highs as a junior when he played in 11 games with eight starts and recorded team highs of 191 rushes, 1127 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on the ground, while adding 45 receptions, 322 yards receiving and one touchdown catch for a team-high 1449 all-purpose yards with his receptions the most by a Cal running back since 1988
• A two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection who picked up first-team honors as a junior after earning second-team recognition in his 2016 sophomore campaign, while also adding CoSIDA Academic All-District® recognition as a junior
• Currently hosting the Patrick Laird Summer Reading Challenge with participants who complete the challenge by August 24 receiving an opportunity to meet Laird and four complimentary tickets to Cal’s 2018 season-opener against North Carolina at California Memorial Stadium
• Has nearly 3,500 students signed up for the challenge as of July 26 and promoted the event thru social and traditional media, as well as during visits and speaking engagements with more than 25 schools in the Bay Area and his hometown area of San Luis Obispo
The Wuerffel Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists for 17 of their 24 awards over a 12-day period from July 16-27. Following is the entire 2018 preseason watch list calendar.
2018 Preseason Watch List Calendar
Monday, July 16 – Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award
Tuesday, July 17 – Davey O’Brien Award
Wednesday, July 18 – Doak Walker Award
Thursday, July 19 – Biletnikoff Award
Friday, July 20 – John Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy
Monday, July 23 – Thorpe Award, Butkus Award®
Tuesday, July 24 – Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wednesday, July 25 – Groza Award, Ray Guy Award
Thursday, July 26 – Hornung Award, Wuerffel Trophy
Friday, July 27 – Walter Camp Award