Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Numbers don’t lie

Speedy Patterson can catch, too

Kansas receiver Daymond Patterson (28) slips by Louisiana Tech safety Deon Young as he heads for the end zone during the third quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Patterson has two touchdown receptions this season.

Kansas receiver Daymond Patterson (28) slips by Louisiana Tech safety Deon Young as he heads for the end zone during the third quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Patterson has two touchdown receptions this season.


Top 10 KU career receiving touchdowns

1. Willie Vaughn (1985-88), Bruce Adams (1972-74), 17; 3. Mark Simmons (2002-05), 16;4. Brandon Rideau (2001-04), 14;5. Marcus Henry (2004-07), 13;6. Dexton Fields (2005-present), Isaac Byrd (1994-96), 12;8. Termaine Fulton (1997-01), David Verser (1977-80), Dezmon Briscoe (2007-present), 11.

Watching Daymond Patterson run with a football calls to mind watching Tom Seaver firing fastballs for the '69 Mets. Under normal circumstances, Seaver had an overpowering fastball. Put a runner in scoring position and two strikes on the batter, and Seaver reached back for more. Under normal circumstances, Patterson is the fastest player on the football field. Then when he needs a little extra, he kicks it up a notch.

Two weeks into the Kansas University football season, Patterson's receiving contributions have been the team's most pleasant surprise. He generally was considered the favorite to land the punt-return duties and has turned that former weakness into a strength. It's as a receiver that Patterson has juiced the team most significantly.

Perhaps the most interesting revelation from looking at down-by-down numbers for KU's talented receivers centers on Patterson, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound true freshman from Mesquite, Texas. Patterson moved into the starting lineup after the injury to Dexton Fields, and the numbers say Patterson's performance as a receiver can be captured in one word: perfection. Todd Reesing has thrown to him 11 times, and those throws have resulted in 11 completions for 152 yards, a 13.8-yard average, and two touchdowns.

On third down, Patterson has four catches for 100 yards.

KU coach Mark Mangino was asked heading into the season what made Patterson a player ready to play right away as a freshman.

"There are a number of things," Mangino said. "I'll make it simple, though: speed. He can flat-out run."

And he can flat-out catch. His addition to the team gives KU even more speed than it had a year ago and a deeper pool of receivers than perhaps any time in school history.

A not-so-grand total of two wide receivers from Kansas University heard their names called in the past 27 NFL drafts, both in the sixth round.

Isaac Byrd was selected by the Chiefs in 1997, and the New York Jets chose Marcus Henry this past draft.

A down-by-down examination of Reesing's receivers two games into the season reveals that KU's quarterback uses all of his options on all downs and doesn't play favorites.

Reesing does tend to look for Kerry Meier as a safety valve, especially on do-or-die downs. On third and fourth downs, Reesing has thrown to Meier 10 times, resulting in six catches for 81 yards. Proving Meier has a knack for running his routes long enough to get the first down, all six of the receptions were for first downs.

Dezmon Briscoe has been targeted six times on such downs, with five receptions for 141 yards, three first downs and two touchdowns.

No. 4 receiver Jonathan Wilson twice has been thrown to on third down, catching both balls for first downs covering a total of 53 yards.


bmbarnes34 11 years, 3 months ago

I think you're forgetting a receiver that came in and was a freshman all-american. Charles Gordon was the first absolute top-flight recruit that I can remember under Mangino. If we didn't need him so much in the defensive backfield he would own every receiving record at KU.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Keegan,You just had to mention the '69 Mets, didn't you? Ron Santo and all of Chicago is currently standing in line to kick your butt.The remarkable core of receivers on this team has to be the most exciting part to watch so far (well, I guess that guy that throws to them has done alright for himself too). With Briscoe, Patterson, and Meier it's easy to forget that Fields -- Reesing's former #1 target -- is out. That is a lot of weapons. If our running game can figure itself out, this offense could be even more explosive than last year. And considering what the defense has done so far, this year and that tough schedule could become very exciting.And Ross-All I can think of is what Homer Simpson would say to Keegan about cutting it off at 27 years: "Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, [Tom]. 14% of people know that."

Rivethead 11 years, 3 months ago

You mention Byrd and Henry as drafted, but don't forget Brandon Rideau with the Bears. Signed free agent and is having success in the NFL.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 11 years, 3 months ago

OK, I get the last 27 years. He was drafted in the first round after he played here 28 years ago. I think he should have been mentioned however.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 3 months ago

The Cubs will choke this year, you can count on it.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 3 months ago

Gordon allegedly left the program because he thought he was going to be used too much on O, and not get to work enough at CB - where he knew his future was, what he was drafted as, and where he has played in the NFL. Gifted as Gordon was, everybody else knows him as a CB that could also catch passes thrown to him.It may be tough for recruits to have as much impact (4 yrs) in the future, since the current players will become more talented upperclassmen. It certainly is fun watching the talent pool grow.

bmcmich1 11 years, 3 months ago

Ha, I live up in Chicago -- on the cover of the Trib Southside edition we get at work they had the picture of Santo in the on deck circle and the black cat running by -- drove my Cubbie Fan co-workers nuts!!

sdoyel 11 years, 3 months ago

Briscoe is going to have that TD record demolished before season's end..... WITH 2 MORE YEARS TO GO.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 11 years, 3 months ago

What about David Verser who was drafted by the Bengals?

justanotherfan 11 years, 3 months ago

If Dezmon Briscoe continues at his current pace, he will absolutely destroy the school record for TD receptions. He needs 7 to go into first. I can't see him not getting seven this year. He's got a chance to catch 40 if he stays 4 years. That, more than anything so far, says a lot about the upgrade in quality that Mangino has brought. A few years ago, there wouldn't have been a freshman talented enough to catch 7 TDs like Dez did last year. There wouldn't have been a kid who could come right in and start making plays in his first year and change in the program. And Dez could eventually be a first day draft pick, with his size, speed and ability to break tackles.

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