Jaret Patterson is Running Wild
Jaret Patterson started out in the shadow of his brother. Both two-star recruits out of St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland, linebacker James was garnering some FBS attention. The pair wanted nothing more than to play together at the college level, but Jaret was overlooked. At just 5’9, he was seen as undersized and was listed as an athlete, and watched as James saw several FBS offers roll in. That is, until the University of Buffalo came calling. The twins committed and enrolled together, and the rest is history. Both have thrived with the Bulls and are enjoying success on the field and their continued bond off of it. But Jaret has shattered expectations, and is putting the country on notice.
Buffalo running backs have seen some NFL success in recent times. While neither James Starks nor Branden Oliver were highly touted prospects entering the league, they both were able to stick for a handful of years and contribute. However, Patterson is quickly approaching both in the UB record books, and surpassing them in NFL stock. He owns the Bulls’ rushing touchdown record with 41, has the highest yards per carry mark at 5.9, and is closing in on Oliver’s yardage record – in one less season of play. And after his 301 yard, 4 score spectacle against Bowling Green, the sky continues to be the limit for Jaret.
What makes Patterson so special? He’s got a full toolbox and is one of the most complete backs you’ll find anywhere in the country. He can win in a wide variety of ways, which has led to his monster production over the course of his career.
His footwork just might be his most valuable trait. Patterson is incredibly light on his feet, and you can count on him to make some special plays in a phone booth as well as in open space. Combine his feet with his vision at the line of scrimmage and it leads to some really special plays.
This doesn’t mean Patterson can’t just hit the gas and go when he needs to. While he doesn’t have earth-shattering speed, his quality acceleration gets him to the second and third level in a hurry. He can absolutely hit the home run if the angles are right, and he’s excellent at seeing them.
Patterson’s vision has also been exceptionally valuable, given the solid but inconsistent nature of Buffalo’s offensive line play this year. He is always able to create space for himself and does a great job moving his eyes to the second level to read the flow of the defense. This type of anticipation can get you far in today’s league.
Again, Patterson has been viewed by many as slightly undersized. But this doesn’t stop him from playing behind his pads. He’s got terrific balance in the open field, and shows his nose for the end zone when given opportunities near the goal line. He is absolutely not afraid to assert his will on defenders.
Patterson has only recorded 20 receptions in his college career, though the Bulls rarely attempt to use their backs in the passing game anyway, due to the nature of their offense. But make no mistake, Patterson clearly has the skillset to be an effective three-down player.
The Bulls take an even bigger stage as they get set to face 3-0 Kent State this Saturday at noon ET in a battle of MAC unbeatens. He’ll continue to star against a shaky Golden Flashes defense, as they’ll need to keep up with Dustin Crum who’s had a flying first half of the season. The country’s eyes should continue to be on #26 this week and into draft season, as he’s one of the most exciting players in the country and a very solid pro prospect as well. (While you’re at it, enjoy watching his running mate, #5 Kevin Marks. He is crazy gifted and productive in his own right). Don’t look now, but Patterson is making a huge name for himself in this shortened year, and there is no end in sight for him.