The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Molly Flannery

Patric Rooney: A Football Life

November 24, 2014

From the age of five, Patric Rooney has had a love for the game of football; 12 years later, the BSM senior captain has committed to play next year at the University of North Dakota, making a longtime dream come true. Rooney acted quickly after receiving this first offer, committing only days later.

Rooney started playing with Edina Youth Football and played there for seven years, always with his dad coaching from the sidelines. Rooney’s father taught him all of the basics of football and how hard work leads to success. Rooney was also very involved in hockey––being one of the largest goalies in the state––but realized he was more suited for football.. “It wasn’t until my freshman year that I actually realized I was pretty good at football. It was then that I realized football could really be something for me,” Rooney said.

Rooney first showed his potential to the BSM coaching staff at the University of Minnesota-Duluth Team Camp the summer before his sophomore year. Because some of the senior linemen were unable to attend the camp,  Rooney had the chance to fill their places. “I just got thrown in with everyone and the coaches really liked how I played. After camp, Coach Hanks told me that if I proved myself in the preseason, I could earn some real playing time,” Rooney said.

Rooney went on to start at offensive tackle and guard his sophomore year and proved to be highly productive. After starting on the varsity team as a sophomore, Rooney was anticipated to have a breakout season and produce impressive numbers his junior year. During a routine summer training camp at North Dakota, however, Rooney was plagued with torn ACL. “Sitting out my junior season really gave me a fire that I’d never had before. It pushed me to realize how much I loved to play and how much work I needed to put in to come back bigger, stronger and faster than ever,” Rooney said.

It pushed me to realize how much I loved to play and how much work I needed to put in to come back bigger, stronger and faster than ever.

— Patric Rooney

The injury made Rooney realize how his college football future now heavily relied on his senior year and the summer leading into it. Even with an injured leg, Rooney continued to work to maintain and increase his strength and improve upon important combine test results, lifting weights six days a week on top of physical therapy and speed training. “I put 80 pounds on my bench press and lowered my shuttle time from a 5.1 to 4.66 seconds,” Rooney said.

Rooney first gained interest from University of North Dakota and other schools following his sophomore year. “I didn’t really think playing in college was even a possibility until I first got attention from colleges. After that it became a goal of mine to play college football,” Rooney said. Despite the season-ending injury, Rooney continued to pursue his dream of playing for the University of North Dakota. “It was hard for me to get recruited while I was injured. I wasn’t able to show my progress in games like other people were able to,” Rooney said.

A bigger, stronger, and faster Rooney returned to North Dakota to participate in their summer camp again before his senior year, and avoided any injury this time around. The coaching staff at North Dakota was impressed with the progress made by Rooney. “They really liked me at summer camp. The offensive line coach came to our game against Richfield and called me the next day with an offer. I talked about it with my parents over the weekend and accepted their offer a few days later,” Rooney said.

Rooney committed to playing Division I football at the University of North Dakota on October 19, 2014, where he will join former teammate and UND quarterback Keaton Studsrud. “It’ll be great to have Keaton up there. I’m glad I’ll have someone to help me get adjusted, show me the ropes, and tell me all about the coaching staff,” Rooney said.

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