Daymond Patterson Glad To Be Back At Wide Receiver

April 2, 2010

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With spring officially here, students on the University of Kansas campus are getting a new found energy. Some of them are in a better mood because of the snow melting and the beautiful weather that has taken its place. Others are just excited that there is a little more than a month of class left.

But in football player Daymond Patterson’s case, he has a little more skip in his step now that Jayhawk head coach Turner Gill is letting him move back to his original position, wide receiver, for the upcoming season.

“I’m probably one of the most excited players coming into spring ball,” Patterson said after the team’s first full pad practice Wednesday. “I’m excited to be back at wide receiver, even though I’m about a year and a half out (from playing the position).”

After the Jayhawks traveled back to Lawrence from playing at Oklahoma two seasons ago, Patterson was caught a little off guard when the coaching staff told him he was changing positions.

“After practice they brought a few guys over and said ‘we are going to see how your back-pedal is,'” Patterson said. “Then I said to myself, ‘I have a feeling I’m about to go to corner.’ We came in for a meeting on Tuesday of the next week and then they told us to go to our positions. I went to walk over to the receivers, but they told me to go over with the cornerbacks. So I just went to wherever they needed me on the field to help the team out.”

Even after the sudden change, Patterson never complained. His spent the last half of his freshman year on the defensive side of the ball and all of the 2009 season at cornerback.

“I wanted to be the best that I could every day and I wanted to help the team,” he said. “I wasn’t going to just sit there and pout. That isn’t the type of person that I am. I am going to do whatever they ask me to do and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability.”

Patterson started two games at wide receiver during his first year at KU and recorded 14 receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the first four games before moving to defense. He finished 2008 with 21 tackles in seven games, which included starts at cornerback in the final five contests. Patterson also returned 22 punts for an 11.0 average, taking one to the end zone.

In 2009 Patterson recorded 31 tackles and broke up five passes, while continuing as the team’s top punt returner. Even though he started the first six games of the year, before coming in as a reserve the last half of the season, he doesn’t consider it a bad break.

“I wouldn’t say it was a tough year, but it was a learning experience,” Patterson said. “I think it helped me in life, just knowing that things aren’t always going to go your way.”

Patterson would like to be considered a leader and would like to help younger players who may be struggling with any situations that may be tougher than they expected.

“That’s how you have to be as a college football player, a college student, and in life in general,” Patterson said. “You aren’t always going to be dealt the hand you want, you just have to play the cards you’re given.”

Moving back to his old – and favorite – position and being on coach Gill’s first team on Mt. Oread, the upcoming season has Patterson very excited.

“I was really happy that (Coach Gill) was going to give us the chance to play the position that we wanted,” Patterson said. “I think after I (re-learn all the receiving routes) and learn to block like a receiver – I actually think I can be a better receiver right now just because I’ve been on the other side of the ball. I’ve looked at how they come off the ball (and how defenders play the receivers).”

As Patterson returns to the offensive side of the ball, it is good to know that he can be counted on and is willing to help the team however he can.