Patton still working towards qualifying

Nick Patton is almost one step closer to Manhattan. He still needs to qualify and is set to take the ACT again in April but is "not worried."

He's almost one step closer to Manhattan.

Quarterback Nick Patton, a 2004 signee for Kansas State, has not qualified yet, but will be taking the ACT again this April. He needs an 18, and has scored of 16 and 17.

"I'm not worried about it now," Patton said Tuesday. "I've been working my butt off studying for the next one. I know I'll get it. I've really been focusing on one part of that I haven't done well on. My grades are fine; it's just getting past the ACT."

But until then, Patton, out of Winfield High, will be focusing on the weight lifting and workout videos supplied to him by the K-State coaches. And once he gets to K-State, it's living up to the hype that could prove to be Patton's greatest challenge, especially comparisons to graduating senior Ell Roberson that are sure to come.

"There's a lot of pressure on me to perform from the get-go," he said. "I feel like I have more to prove to everyone else because I ranked so high. They want to know if I am for real. And with Ell, I'm not going to try to be him. I want to work to better than him in the end and out-work him. I want to do things at K-State that he didn't do."

Patton, at 6-foot-3 185 pounds, also wants to, "correct myself for the record now," and not lock himself into a redshirt season next year. K-State coach Bill Snyder said on signing day that it is likely that one, if not both prep quarterbacks in this class could forego their redshirts. Only sophomore Dylan Meier and junior Allan Webb are returning next season. Meier has just clean-up duty on resume so far, while Webb hasn't thrown a pass at the college level.

"After thinking about it a lot, I've decided that I want to play as soon as I can," he said. "I think I can contribute right away. But I also know that I haven't been guaranteed anything or any playing time next year. I have to come in and work hard, learn the system, and hopefully, things will work out. Whoever wins the starting job would have earned it. I just plan to add to the competition for the job."

Ranked No. 16 by TheInsiders at quarterback, Patton said he needs to work on his footwork and defensive reads.

"Right now, it's my footwork," he said. "Athletic quarterbacks needs to be able to show good footwork in the backfield, throwing the ball and when the play breaks down. I'm okay, but college ball is so much faster and I need to get used to that."

"Making reads is also going to be challenging. K-State quarterbacks have to be able to do it on every play. It's something I'm going to take a lot of pride in."

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