FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WHTM) – Cedar Crest graduate Chad Ryland made his NFL debut Sunday afternoon as the New England Patriots starting kicker.

Ryland and the Patriots are facing the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL season opener on Sunday. Ryland kicked off the Patriots season with the opening kick off and made two extra-points in the 25-20 Patriots loss.

New England selected Ryland with the 112th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft out of Maryland.

Ryland made a name for himself this past season as a graduate transfer kicker for Maryland making 19-of-23 field goals. He holds the Terps school record for highest field goal percentage (.826) by a kicker with more than 20 attempts.

Last year Ryland knocked through all three field goals attempts in Duke’s Mayo Bowl win over #23 NC State, making a 42, 33 and 45-yarder. He also became the first kicker in Maryland program history with two 50-yard field goal makes in a game. His 53 and 52-yarder against No. 4 Michigan on the road turned heads in the special teams world.

A talented soccer player in high school, Ryland’s dad, Todd, encouraged Chad to try kicking for Cedar Crest’s football team. After two seasons of high school Friday night lights, Ryland became a preferred walk on at Eastern Michigan.

The Lebanon native holds the Eastern Michigan record in career PATs made (141), PATs attempted (145), career points scored (309) and single-game record with five FGs made in 2021 vs. Western Michigan. He connected on 56 field goals, ranking second in Eagles history.