Brentwood High School alum Lucas Patrick is a game away from making it to the Super Bowl.
A former Bruin, Patrick has worked his way to be the starting right guard for the Green Bay Packers, who have run one of the most proficient offenses in the NFL this past season.
His getting a starting job is no small feat for an undrafted player.
"One thing that stuck with me for the longest time, if I'm right, they have to be wrong," Patrick said in a lengthy feature written about his ascent on the Packers' website. "Part of that is effort and part of that is finish. I'm just going to play to the echo of the whistle. I never know when I'm going to get this opportunity again. You never know when you're going to be a consistent starter again, so I'm not going to leave any stone unturned."
He came into the NFL in 2016 out of Duke (also the current home of former Ravenwood standout Graham Barton) and has worked his way to a starting role with one of the NFL's premiere organizations.
His Green Bay offensive line coach Adam Stenavich praised the former tryout player in that same feature.
"That intrinsic motivation and that effort is what has gotten him here to the NFL and to become a starting offensive lineman in the NFL," Stenavich said in the story. "It's a tribute to him and his work ethic, and just kind of his mindset, and the guys feed off of it. He's a guy who's going to go out there every day and play his butt off for his teammates."
His quarterback, MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers, was also quite complementary to the former Bruin.
"He's got such a good head on his shoulders," Rodgers said in the story. "It's fun to see him develop as a super reliable guy. He was always a guy you felt pretty good about plugging in there. You knew the effort was always gonna be there. You knew the finish was gonna be there."
Patrick signed a two-year extension with Green Bay last December, leaving him set to hold down his spot in 2021 while making roughly $1.5 million against the cap to do so (per Spotrac).
As far as how Patrick go to be where he is? He in part credits his offseason work with trainer Jeron Masturd in the feature as what's helped him succeed this year.
"I think the quarantining/COVID situation was a benefit for me," Patrick said via the Packers. "We were able to develop a great plan once we found out we were going to be there the whole offseason.
"It was nice to spend that much time in a weight room. I probably haven't spent that much time in the weight room since high school, where you make big jumps in your strength and your athleticism and speed."
ProFootball Focus grades him with a respectable 64.8 grade this year, surely in part credited for his ability to keep Rodgers upright and in his work blocking for star running back Aaron Jones.
The Packers will head to Lambeau Field this Sunday to take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A win there will help Patrick be the second Williamson County alum to start on the Green Bay offensive line in a Super Bowl.
Since-retired NFL vet Scott Wells, a Brentwood Academy alum and now coach, was Rodgers' center when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV.
Now, a Bruin could help block the way to get Rodgers his second ring.
Bills feature two WillCo alums
When the Buffalo Bills take the field in Sunday's AFC Championship game at Kansas City, they'll have Williamson County alums on full display.
The Bills, red-hot after years of playoff stagnation, boast former Brentwood Academy standout Dawson Knox and Centennial star Tyrel Dodson as contributors.
Knox, who was drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft in the third round, has become one of quarterback Josh Allen's options at the tight end position.
He's got 288 yards this season on 24 catches and three touchdowns, including one scored in the team's Wild Card win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Knox should factor in even more in the time to come as he and Allen develop even more of a chemistry together. He's been a part of helping make Allen an MVP candidate, though Rodgers might be the favorite for that award.
As for Dodson, he's been sporadically used by Buffalo in a rotational role since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019.
His 2020 highlight came against the hometown Tennessee Titans, when he racked up 6 of his 18 tackles this season in an expanded role.