Kansas University's football program continues to make its mark in the state of Texas on the recruiting front. Grabbing guys overlooked by other schools has paid big dividends for the Jayhawks in recent years. Several of those guys - such as Aqib Talib, James McClinton, Dexton Fields and Anthony Collins - were integral in KU's 12-1 run and Orange Bowl win in 2007. On signing day 2008, the Jayhawks landed six high school prospects from the Lonestar State. Included is 5-foot-9, 175 pound receiver Daymond Patterson of North Mesquite High. A 2007 first team Class 5A selection, Patterson was a jack of all trades. He had 69 receptions for 826 yards and 12 scores, 16 kick returns for 469 yards and two TDs, then 194 punt return yards and another trip to pay dirt. Patterson took time to catch up with Ryan Greene after signing his letter of intent Wednesday morning.
Ryan Greene: Do you think you almost went under the radar a little bit as a senior. I know you were an all-state selection, but given your size, do you think on the recruiting front you went under the radar a bit?
Daymond Patterson: I think a little bit I was under the radar due to my size. My size did play - especially in the beginning of by recruitment - a big factor to what teams would shy off a little bit. They didn't know if I'd be able to hold up and take hits. Now I'm stronger, and I'll be able to play at the next level. As recruiting started going more, more teams didn't look at it as much...I think I was a little bit under the radar, but I'm happy with where I'm going now to Kansas, so I'm not bothered by it.
RG: KU's been recruiting a lot in Texas the last few years. How did they pitch the idea of coming up to Kansas to you as a good idea?
DP: Just talking with coach (Clint) Bowen, I liked their whole offensive philosophy. They just changed to a new passing game, so I really liked their offense. The chance to be able to go into a new offense is a big deal. And then being able to get a good chance playing time next year as a punt returner, and then in future years, probably sophomore year after (Marcus) Herford leaves, kick returning, so I've got a lot of opportunities to get on the field. And I like the campus, I liked the coaches a lot and I've also got family up there. A lot of things were good about Kansas to me, so I felt like it was a perfect fit.
RG: You have family up here, where are they?
DP: I have family in Topeka. I was born in Topeka, and I lived there until I was three.
RG: Are you going to be playing receiver when you come here?
DP: I'll be in the slot, then I'll also also be doing punt and kickoff returns.
RG: Are you aware of the success that some of the other guys who have come from Texas and gone to KU have had?
DP: I really started watching Kansas this year, for the most part. I just watch a lot of college football, I never just really looked into one team, but I've seen a lot of good Texas players this year. Like (Dezmon) Briscoe, I saw how he did well. Dexton Fields, I know he's from around here, he did well. (Todd) Reesing, I know he's from around here. So I know a few of the Texas guys have had a lot of success, especially this year.
RG: What'd you enjoy most about watching them this year during that 12-1 run?
DP: Just how well the team played together. A lot of times they might not have the biggest people or sometimes not the fastest, but the team played together real well this year. They were a really well-coached team. And then the offense, of course, was wide open. I really enjoyed watching the offense this year.
RG: As a smaller receiver, does a wide open offense benefit you you think?
DP: I think it really benefits me a lot. Just for the simple fact of being able to get the ball out in the open space to make a few people miss and take it to the house from there. I think I'll do real well in the Kansas offense throughout the years just being able to get the ball in different ways, from going in motion, getting in option, getting reverses, getting outs, slants and running more intermediate routes and create mismatches.
RG: At your size, are there any receivers you try to emulate with the way you play?
DP: I don't try and emulate too many wide receivers. I just go out there and do what I've been doing since I was younger, using my speed and quickness to my advantage. I don't really try and emulate too many wide receivers, but one receiver, I don't think I play like him too much, but I really like Chad Johnson. I like to see how he releases off the ball, gets off press coverage and how he runs routes. I like to look at how he runs routes, so I like to watch Chad Johnson a little bit.
RG: You mentioned Todd Reesing. From what you watched of him this year, what do you like most about the way he plays the quarterback position? What do you think will make you two a good fit down the road?
DP: The thing I like most about him is he wants to win, and you can tell that by the way he plays. Todd, I can relate to him for the simple fact that he's a shorter quarterback, so I know how much harder he has to work to do what he does at the quarterback position. So I think I'll relate to him real well just going from a smaller player's standpoint. But he's a real good quarterback and I think he's a real good competitor.