Recruiting has started in earnest and the Cats have picked up the commitment of what could be one of the best players in the state of Texas this year---- Leon Patten.
"Yep, Leon jumped on the offer and committed to Kansas State," WT White Head Coach Mike Zoffuto told KStateFans.
With the loss of Darren Sproles this past year, the Wildcat offense lost one of the best players to ever suit up and Coach Zoffuto feels Leon has the ability to step in and garner comparisons to Sproles. Defensive coordinator Bob Elliott looks to have gotten his man and landed the first commitment from a class of 2006 graduate.
"Coach Elliott and I go way back. I have a lot of trust and admiration for what K-State does with their players and I can tell you they landed a huge player today. I mean this is a really talented young man. Even before you ever get to the football field. Leon is just a special person and he is going to just really fit in at K-State. He is going to Kansas State and is the type of player that once he gives his word it is over. Other schools are already trying to see how firm his commitment is and he is done. He is just that type of guy- he told Kansas State he is going there and that is it and trust me I have already been fielding calls from big time schools telling them he will not change his mind," said Coach Zoffuto.
Leon who stand at roughly 5-foot-7 and a little under 180 pounds will play tailback for the WT White Longhorns this year and while splitting starting time last year in the backfield, Patten put up 12 TD's and 738 yards on the ground while hauling in 8 passes for 101 yards and a TD as a receiver out of the backfield.
"He had to split time last year and it is good that K-State offered early because the secret is getting out. We had sent some film out to some schools, schools like Ohio State, LSU ,Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Oklahoma- just a bunch of big time programs a while back and now all of them are trying to get back into this one. But it is over. Coach Elliott and Kansas State were just really smart on this one and offered him early. Georgia asked for tape on him just yesterday but I am not sending tape to anyone else and I going to tell everyone he is going to Kansas State and we are not going to field and more requests."
Such a versatile player, Patten will be featured in the backfield this year and will have the chance to display the skills that have made him one of the State of Texas' best players this year. Having split time last year at the starting RB position, Patten was not as celebrated as some of the other, better known running backs in the state. That however will not stop the ultra talented RB from being noticed this year.
"A sliver of light is all he needs. You give him the smallest glimmer of light and his is gone. I am not sure about all the kids that sport 4.4 forties but if he gets a step on you off the line- put up 6 points you won't catch him. Seriously, if he gets loose- no one will catch him. I do not mean to exaggerate but there is not a player anywhere that can chase him down. And he is not a bounce it to the outside type of player. He can run right up the middle and take people with him if you need him to. I know that K-State is going to use him and create mismatches. They will roll him out at receiver and maybe look to use him on punts and running back."
Although his primary position will be running back, Leon will be listed as an athlete for the Cats due to his versatility and ability to play so many positions. Capable of helping the Cats on both special teams as well as offense, Coach Elliott has indicated he would like to find ways to use Patten similar to how USC uses their All-American Reggie Bush. Drawing comparisons to Sproles, Patten watches film and patterns his game off Sproles'.
" Leon is so fast and his vision is what makes him an elite player. Sproles for example, his ability to see the field and how everything set up before it ever played out- Leon has the same ability. He sees everything and I mean everything and just anticipates so well. He will hit holes before they are open and times it just right. He gets there right as it opens up and you can't teach that. There is a reason so many schools are wanting tape on him and once they see it- it is over- they all want him. Lots of players have speed. Lots of players have big numbers. He does not get the press others do but don't be fooled, this young man is very talented and people who know football realize this. Leon is a great student of the game. He watches hours of film of Darren Sproles and breaks down his game. I do not want to put pressure on labeling him but Darren is a player that Leon compares very favorably to," said Zoffuto.
Coach Elliott recruited Patten for the Cats and was slotted to visit WT White campus and speak with Leon yesterday. Having seen some film early on Leon, the Cats offered the versatile RB shortly thereafter and was the first school to make officially offer the talented RB, locking up a commitment.
"I know Coach Elliott very well from my days at KU, we go back aways. Dang those Wildcats just got such a great player and now you know I am going to be watching K-State a bunch now…… Coach Elliott saw some film on Leon and very quickly after that they offered and I think that was the deciding factor for Leon. He loved Kansas State and what they have to offer and with his skill set and the way he carries himself, Coach Snyder is going to love his work ethic and the type of young man he is and he will fit so well with their offense. I think K-State could have picked up Demaurier Thompson too, but they waited just a hair too long. He committed to Texas ATM last night. And the thing is that Leon and Demaurier have wanted to play together for a really long time. They could have probably had two commitments Tuesday if they had offered. I think that is why Coach Elliott is stopping by to see if the Cats can get back in that one but just like Leon- Demaurier won't change his mind," Coach Zoffuto told KStateFans.
Patten looks to visit Manhattan later this month and take in the Annual Purple and White Spring Game.
Brought to you by : www.KStateFans.com