His 'A' Game

Daymond Patterson had big dreams heading into his senior season last year, the kind of lofty ambitions one has after catching a team-high 60 passes for 487 yards as a junior and now aiming to catch the eyes of NFL scouts.

But his dream turned into a nightmare in his first game against McNeese State, when Patterson suffered a severe groin injury. He realized his rehab would consume much of the season, so he decided to redshirt.

While he was devastated at first, he tried to encourage his teammates while eventually working out and focusing on becoming a better route runner and overall player. 

"I had to refocus my time and what I was going to do here," Patterson said.

He watched helplessly as KU struggled mightily last season and won just two games. But now with Charlie Weis replacing Turner Gill as head coach and the heralded Dayne Crist arriving at quarterback, Patterson has renewed hope and fervor.

The senior actually believes his injury was a "blessing in disguise."

"Nothing against the previous staff or Jordan (Webb) as a quarterback, but it's a different offensive philosophy that we're going through this year," Patterson said. "I feel we'll be able to throw the ball a little more. It is a pro style offense so it will help for the people that are looking to make it to the next level, just the contacts with coach Weis and coach Campo (Dave, defensive coordinator).

"I think it's a new start for a lot of guys, including myself, just refocus and know what you're doing out there and trying to put yourself in the best position to succeed."

Patterson believes KU has the coaching staff, receivers, and quarterback to succeed on offense. He said the the competition has been fierce at the receiving position with guys like Kale Pick, D.J. Beshears, Chris Omigie, and Andrew Turzilli.

"Everybody's really looking to impact out there," Patterson said. "We know we're going to have depth, so if you want to play, you're going to have to bring your ‘A' game every day."

Patterson knows Crist will bring his 'A' game. The two have become quite close since the Notre Dame transfer decided to become a Jayhawk last December, and worked extensively together during summer workouts.

"We talk about how we're trying to change the program for the better," Patterson said. "I'm excited to be able to play with a guy who comes in with as much passion as he is. He's only been here for such a small amount of time, but he's shown (great) leadership."

Patterson knows this is his last chance at KU, his last hurrah. And the 5-8 speedster is poised to make it a breakout season. He's bulked up to 180 pounds from 168, adding extra lower body strength. 

He certainly has his eyes on the prize.

"I want to help the team as much as possible and do my role," he said. "I feel this year for me is an All-Big 12 year. I feel like since I've been here, I've had the ability to do some things. (They) haven't went my way. That's not what I'm just focusing on ... but I want to end my career as an All-Big 12 player, which I feel I have the capabilities to do. I feel if I can move up that will only help the team out."

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