During his stellar career at the University of Maine, Patrick Ricard’s job was to keep opposing players out of the end zone.
On Sunday afternoon, he enjoyed the ultimate reward for a player on the other side of the ball — playing at the game’s highest level.
Ricard, who is being utilized as a fullback by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, scored his first career touchdown. He caught a 3-yard scoring pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to help the Ravens post a 44-20 rout of the Detroit Lions in a game played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Ricard slipped out of the backfield on the right side of the field and was wide-open for the short toss from Flacco, another former Colonial Athletic Association player as a member of the Delaware Blue Hens.
“It doesn’t really feel real,” Ricard told Bo Smolka of pressboxonline.com. “I haven’t scored a touchdown since high school.”
Sunday’s grab was the second career reception for Ricard, a rookie who signed with the Ravens in May as an undrafted free agent defensive lineman.
Ricard, who stands 6-foot-3, 304 pounds, has played in 11 of Baltimore’s 12 games this season and previously had a 1-yard catch in the Raven’s 40-0 win over Miami in Week 8.
At UMaine, Ricard was a STATS FCS All-America third-team selection last season. He made 50 tackles, including 15.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks, during the 2016 season.
Ricard completed his UMaine career with 208 tackles, including 47.5 for a loss, along with 18 sacks, 11 pass deflections, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two blocked kicks.
Ricard also was named to the All-CAA first team for the second straight year and was selected for the New England Football Writers’ All-New England team and the ECAC Division I FCS all-star team last season.
He was a tight end, fullback and linebacker at David Prouty High School in the Worcester, Massachusetts, suburb of Spencer. He led his team to the Super Bowl championship in 2009. He was a two-time Division II Defensive Most Valuable Player.
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