Patrick Laird returned to his old stomping grounds Saturday to work with local children at a football camp.
Laird is coming off three seasons playing in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins.
"Every offseason I try to come back to the Central Coast, connect with kids, come back to my high school, do whatever I can, and obviously the last two years it has been difficult to do that, so it was nice that we were able to set it up this year," said Laird.
The camp took place at Mission Prep, Laird’s alma mater.
"I have a lot of memories just running, doing sprints on this field, a lot of early mornings before school, 6 a.m. workouts in the weight room, that's why I like to come back," said Laird.
Mission Prep alums Brian Hannula, an NFL player agent, and Andrew DeSesa, an athletic trainer, were in attendance to assist with the Laird’s camp.
"I've known Patrick and the Laird family for a while, I got to watch him compete at Cal, and now obviously in the NFL,” said Hannula. “I’m just so insanely proud to see one of our own, not only from Mission, but from the San Luis Obispo community at large make it from a small community to the biggest stage that there is."
"Patrick and I actually were training partners in high school,” said DeSesa. “He was a year younger than me, I played linebacker, he played running back, I blocked for him as an offensive lineman. It's amazing to see what Patrick has done in the business world, the charity world, and on the football field."
The goal with the camp was to get kids back out and active.
"It has been really sad to see kids booked up, doing Zoom classes, not being able to see their friends, not being able to get outside and participate in sports,” said DeSesa. “To have this return to normalcy and play the great game that is football is really great to see."
Kids had the opportunity to train in a way that models the workouts Laird has done during his time in the NFL.
"Sometimes it's good to go back to the fundamentals and I'm doing some of the drills we were doing today," said Laird.
"It can show the local kids that you can go from a small city and go on to do things on a bigger stage," said Hannula.
Laird said the return home was the bonus to putting on the camp.
"I love the Central Coast, I love San Luis Obispo, I love Mission Prep, it's just nice to come back," said Laird.