Daymond Patterson isn’t one of the biggest wide receivers on Kansas University’s football roster.
On paper, he just happens to be the best.
“He’s like ‘Mighty Mouse.’ He is small, but he packs a lot of punch,” KU junior safety Lubbock Smith said of the 5-foot-9, 173-pound Patterson, who caught a team-leading 60 passes for 487 yards and two touchdowns last season.
“Every time you see him, he’s driving, trying to do better. Regardless of what is happening, he’s going to go hard every down,” Smith added.
The Mesquite, Texas, senior’s 60 catches marked the seventh-highest total by a KU receiver in the last 26 years.
“Daymond Patterson will probably be front-runner for our receiver corps again because he is a great receiver and has great hands,” KU junior safety Bradley McDougald said. “He’s very shifty and a lot of defenders aren’t able to tackle him. He makes them miss in the open field.
“The thing I admire most about him,” McDougald added, “is his preparation for the game and his love for the game. He is a talker out there, but usually backs it up. He knows he’s going to do it because of his preparation.”
Patterson is intent on having a stellar senior season.
“Every year, every game, I feel a sense of urgency that I need to make plays for my team,” Patterson said. “This is my senior year. This could be my last year of football so I have to, every practice, every game, take every snap like it’s my last. I am looking to go out there and end this career at KU with a bang.”
Patterson — he’s majoring in pre-sports management with designs on possibly being a player agent or college athletic director someday — naturally would love to better last year’s totals.
“I am looking to improve on my numbers in all areas,” Patterson said, “as long as they are helping the team get better. I don’t want 100 catches if we don’t win games. I’ll take 50 catches if we are winning games and going to a bowl game because the numbers will come if things are working for the offense as a whole. All I’m trying to do is put myself in position to make as many plays as I can for the team.”
He’s known as one of KU’s hardest workers.
“I need to work on everything from catching the ball to running after the catch, blocking. It doesn’t matter how well you are doing. You can always get better every day,” Patterson said. “I am teaching myself to be a more rounded receiver.”
Patterson had a season-high eight catches against Colorado for 75 yards. He had seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown against Georgia Tech. Coincidentally, KU won both those games in a three-win season.
“I pride myself on making big plays. One play can change a game totally and swing the momentum and you get a win,” Patterson said. “I do put a lot of pressure on myself, good pressure, like, ‘OK my team needs me to do this.’’’
He thinks KU can show considerable improvement in year two of the Turner Gill era.
The Jayhawks finished 3-9 last season.
“I believe we have all the pieces to have a really big year and accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves,” Patterson said, noting he wants to go out as a member of a bowl team. “As long as we go out there and work hard, we’ll be fine.”
It’s his last shot on campus this fall.
“It feels like you’ve been here a long time. It also feels like you just got here and can remember that first day you stepped on campus,” Patterson said. “Now you are ready to leave campus in less than a year. It’s been a really good time. I was here with Mangino (Mark, former coach). I’m here with Gill. I enjoyed my time with both head coaches. I am ready to have a good time in my senior year.”