Javon Patterson/Petre Thomas

While many are focusing on Shea, Javon is holding down the OL fort

Recently, you read the circumstances by which Javon Patterson has ended up at center. Now, a tad more depth as the Rebs move forward with the uncertainty of the health of Sean Rawlings and Robert Conyers.

In Monday's presser, Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze basically said not to expect much more out of senior Center Robert Conyers, seemingly held together by bailing wire and the glue of grit at this stage of his career.

He was also uncertain about the health status of Sean Rawlings, who has taken over the center slot from Conyers when it became apparent Robert just couldn't go many reps any more.

And that, dear fans, brings us back to where we were in a recent story with sophomore Javon Patterson and his move from left guard to center amidst, and parcel of, a makeshift offensive line heading to College Station, TX, this weekend to take on the Texas A&M Aggies, who will be licking their wounds from an unexpected beating at the hands of Mississippi State in Starkville, a stagnant hole in East Mississippi, for those unfamiliar.

Patterson was moved to center last week after Rawlings was injured against Auburn. He had his first start there against Georgia Southern last Saturday in a 37-27 Rebel win.

After watching the film and grading himself, he said he felt like he was "soild."

"Sure, there are things I can get better at and I am eager to do that to help the team, but I had a solid game," said Javon, the Patterson on the team who is not under the glaring spotlight, that would be Shea, this week. "I had a couple of bad snaps, one in each half, but we were still able to get the play off - they were too high, but other than that, I was OK."

Javon said he doesn't mind playing center. He might give the edge in his preference to guard, but center is a challenge he is enjoying.

"It's different. I like center alright," he continued. "In our system, the quarterback calls most of the protections. The center has to make the call on second level stuff, but that's not difficult, especially when you communicate so well with the guys around you."

At center, it was the first time Javon had played next to Right Guard Daronte Bouldin, starting because Jordan Sims had to move from RG to LG to take Javon's spot.

"Daronte is a powerful guy. He does a good job. We had some good combo blocks in the game and he's is taking advantage of his opportunity to play more," Patterson allowed. "And Jordan is confident at right guard or left guard. He has played both before. He's a versatile player who always knows what to do at all times."

Javon is also keeping a close eye on the two freshmen tackles - Greg Little and Alex Givens - currently carrying the load with Rod Taylor now out with an ankle injury and Rawlings moving inside to center when he is healthy.

"It's all mental for them right now. I was there last year - my first action as a freshman. You have to understand game situations, down and distance, assignments against different defensive looks and stunts and blitzes. There's a lot to learn and absorb, but those guys are doing a really good job. There is a huge difference in their first starts against LSU and now," he commented. "They have played through their swimming period, probably faster than I did last year. They are bright guys who care and pay attention."

Javon is hopeful to get Sean, Rod, even Robert, back for A&M, but if not, he's ready to lead the charge at center.

"They are doing well in the training room getting treatment. I expect them back soon," he closed. "We need all hands on board, but if they aren't healthy yet, we can get the job done with who we have available."

 


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