Walk-on junior Jordan Baird is a unique talent.

He has been on “American Idol.” He performed live for Simon Cowell on “The X-Factor.” And he will be singing in front of a sold out Patriot Center on Saturday night as the men take on Old Dominion to put an exclamation point on Homecoming week.

by John Powell

Right out of high school, Baird packed his bags for Orlando in hopes of landing a deal with a major record label. He excelled through four rounds of “American Idol” before being eliminated and, thus, winding up at Mason where he is pursuing a degree in music.

“Something like that happening right out of high school — it was just a blast,” Baird said. “You can take something away from almost any experience. So that was a really big learning thing for me.”

Despite his lack of playing time for the Patriots, Baird is enjoying the grind of a long basketball season and continues to work hard, preparing himself for the opportunity that he might one day be needed on the floor.

“[College basketball] has been a dream come true,” he said. “We know our place as walk-ons. But just because you know your place doesn’t mean you can’t be working for something more.”

On Saturday evening, Baird will be called upon to sing the National Anthem before the Patriots take on the Old Dominion Monarchs. The sold out Patriot Center will be the second-largest crowd he has ever performed for but says he will not be nervous during the song.

“The singing part isn’t what’s nerve-racking,” he said. “The two minutes leading up will be the nerve racking part. But it will be great. I’m looking forward to it.”