Patterson Lovin' It

Daymond Patterson began his KU career with a bang, returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in his first game against Florida International in 2008.

Daymond Patterson showed flashes of greatness as a wide receiver as well his freshman season, catching 14 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns before then-head coach Mark Mangino moved him to cornerback the last half of the year.

After playing all last season at corner and recording 31 tackles, the 5-9, 173-pound speedster from Mesquite, Texas, is back home at wide receiver this season. He's made an instant impact the first three games, leading KU with 16 receptions for 166 yards. His 5.33 receptions per game rank ninth in the Big 12.

"It feels real good," Patterson said of playing receiver. "It's the position I wanted to play since I got here. I finally got my chance to come back."

Patterson said he thinks he's "doing pretty good. I think I still have some things to work on, like any receiver and any other player. I've been out for a year and a half. I'm still trying to tune up a lot of stuff and get to where I was."

The junior certainly hasn't showed much rust. He had his best game against Georgia Tech in KU's stunning 28-25 win on Sept. 11, recording seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, his first TD since the Louisiana Tech game in 2008. In the Jayhawks' most spectacular play of the young season, Patterson caught the short pass in the fourth quarter, then broke a few tackles before diving into the endzone for a 32-yard TD.

"I have seen it a few times on SportsCenter," Patterson said. "I was really excited to see it on Top 10 (plays). Hopefully, I can get some more."

And what was going through his mind during that dazzling TD run?

"Just get in the endzone," Patterson replied. "I broke a few tackles, so I was like, ‘I'm not going to go down.'"

Patterson, however, regrets diving into the endzone, where he suffered an unsportsmanlike penalty. He insists he wasn't celebrating.

"I just wanted to get in the endzone as fast as possible," Patterson said. "Nothing like that will happen again."

Patterson would certainly love to find the endzone again against New Mexico State Saturday night in KU's final nonconference game before opening Big 12 play Oct. 2 at Baylor. He'd be especially thrilled to return a punt for a touchdown. Patterson has yet to get untracked this year in the punt return game with just 17 yards on seven attempts (2.4 avg.)

"It's been a while," Patterson said about his last punt return for a TD in his career debut. "But you got to be smart back there. It's field position first. Just field the ball, and then after that, whatever happens happens."

With his speed and quickness, Patterson is capable of making plays happen any time he touches the ball. He  just feels fortunate to be catching passes this season, not defending them.

"I'm having a lot of fun, probably the most fun I've had since I've been here," Patterson said. "I'm just really excited for the opportunity to be over there (at receiver)."

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