Recruiting: Juco LB ready to make mark at OU

Junior College linebacker Chris Patterson talks about his season at NEO and future at Oklahoma.

Chris Patterson, LB, 6'3, 218, 4.48, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College:

JH: It has been a long time since we have talked, so please catch us up and let us know how you are doing and what position you are playing at NEO?

CP: "I am playing SAM backer, the same position that Clint Ingram plays. Things have been going pretty well for me. I have been learning all the play calls and everything. The more I learn about the defense the better I play."

JH: What are your stats so far this season?

CP: "So far this season I have 89 tackles, three sacks, three punt blocks, one field goal block, four forced fumbles and two interceptions. I also have four pass break-ups."

JH: I guess you are staying on the field during passing downs?

CP: "Yes, I play the nickel back in passing downs. They give me a chance to play in open space and I do well. Sometimes we play a safety over the top and that means I get to man-up on the receiver, and I do very well."

JH: I hear you are very good in pass coverage.

CP: "Most people get converted to linebacker and I have been playing linebacker since I was little league. The flats don't change no matter what level of football I have been playing. Defensive coordinators that I have played for have just always put me in position to make plays."

JH: You come from Chicago so I figure that things were a little different for you in Miami, Oklahoma?

CP: "For a long time it wasn't always good, because I was away from the family for the first time. I was redshirting so I wasn't playing and I wasn't used to just practicing and not playing. That was very tough on me. Now I am playing and things are going a lot easier for me."

JH: Have you been able to make it up to Norman much?

CP: "I made it up for the TCU game, but that is all the time I have had. I have been busy with my own games. I haven't had time to get back to Norman."

JH: Are you still committed to OU?

CP: "Yes I am."

JH: It seems like you have been waiting forever to play for OU. I bet you can't wait for next season to get here?

CP: "I am very excited. It has been a long time coming and I am looking forward to it."

JH: Do you get a chance to talk to Coach Venables much?

CP: "We don't talk too often, but we talk every once in a while. I may see a blitz and I will keep it in my mind and call him about it. He just laughs at me because he knows that I am seeing some of the same blitzes that they run."

JH: Do you think you will be a SAM backer at OU?

CP: "Yes, I think I will play the SAM linebacker at OU. I thought I might play safety, but that is not going to happen. The SAM backer comes off the edge a lot and they also play in open space a lot, and that is where my skills fit best."

JH: What kind of impact do you think you will make at OU next year?

CP: "The way I look at the situation is that I expect to be thrown right into the fire. I know that they have a great linebacker leaving, but they also have great linebackers waiting in the wings. I think it is my time to play linebacker at Oklahoma. I am two years older and two years more mature than from the time I signed with them. I feel I have put in my time here at NEO and when I get to OU, I feel that it is going to be my time to play linebacker at OU. Plus, when I get to OU I am already going to know the defense so well."

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