Five years ago Daniel Lasco was suiting up for his final year as the running back for The Woodlands in Houston, Texas. Lasco would leave his high school with sole possession of the school’s all-time records for rushing yards (3,821) and touchdowns (43) en route to leading The Woodlands to three District titles from 2008-2010.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound running back was the 237th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Lasco would return to his home state on Saturday when the New Orleans Saints played the Houston Texans in NRG Stadium. Lasco wound up with 24 yards on a team-high 12 carries, his longest coming on an 11-yard gain late in the third quarter. The Houston Texans won the game 16-9.
Many of Lasco’s family and friends watched his homecoming performance including his former head coach at The Woodlands, Mark Schmid. According to the Houston Chronicle, Mark Schmid said he was “So proud,” as he watched his former player. “To be able to watch a young man that was a part of your program move on to the collegiate level, and experience a high level of success, and then have his opportunity in the NFL is every high school coach’s dream.”
Daniel Lasco played collegiately for the University of California where he was a two-time captain and honorable mention All Pac-12 pick as a junior. In his junior season he rushed for 1115 yards and had 14 total touchdowns. Lasco was considered one of the best backs in the nation heading into his senior season, but was plagued by injuries. Despite the injuries he still managed to rush for 331 yards and three touchdowns on 65 carries.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Lasco told the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to find a way onto the 53-man (roster). I have to keep pushing myself, and I’m not there yet. I got the ball a lot of times tonight, and I’ve got to make one of them break and get into the end zone somehow to help this team. I didn’t do it, and that’s on me. We’ll go back and watch film and critique myself, and look at the man in the mirror, and figure out a way to get better for next week.”