"On the Spot" with WR Jamal-Rashad Patterson [#21]
Following Thursday's Practice #4, The Bootleg's "Emeritus" managed to grab a few fun moments with one of the most intriguing (and outgoing) of the 2009 freshmen players, WR Jamal-Rashad Patterson of McDonough, Georgia. We were waiting for another interview and a chance to chat with J-RP made itself suddenly available and we jumped on it like Jamal-Rashad will be jumping on opportunities to move the chains and light up the scoreboard this fall. Not sure how to describe it, but something about Patterson just screams....."TOUCHDOWN!"
On-Field, Post-Practice Interview on Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Bootleg: We will always take an opportunity to stand in the hot sun with true freshman WR Jamal-Rashad Patterson, already one of The Bootleg's favorite personalities among the Class of 2009. You prefer going by "Jamal" these days or "Jamal-Rashad"?
Jamal-Rashad Patterson: "Jamal-Rashad" I mean, some of the coaches call me "Jamal", I mean, it's cool.
TB: Have you picked up a nickname yet?
J-RP: Uh, "Booby". [we won't go there]
TB: #21 jersey, right? #21 is lucky for a lot of people, was that one you had hoped was available? [fortunately for Patterson, Thaddeus Chase had graduated and it was indeed available].
J-RP: Oh yes, that was my high school number, yes sir! [the respectful Southern manners are on already on display!]
TB: Just a few practices in and you have been getting nice reps already, running with what, the second offense?
J-RP: (Smiling widely) ....and the "ones", yes sir!
TB: You are a few days in now, have you noticed any difference catching the ball from one quarterback versus the other?
J-RP: Not really. We've got some great quarterbacks! You know the main thing is adjusting to the speed of the game. Football is football regardless, but man at the college level everything is faster. After a couple of days, and then having worked out over the summer, I've noticed that the ball is coming at you really fast so you have to come out of your routes really hard - with your arms really pumpin'!
TB: Are you used to playing on field turf? (artificial grass at Palo Alto High School's very nice practice field) Is that something new for you?
J-RP: Big-time, yes sir!
TB: Did the equipment staff outfit you with some special shoes for that?
J-RP: Actually, I have played on it two or three times at football camps at other colleges, but other than that, on a steady basis, we just play on grass at home.
TB: [It is about 90 degrees with no humidity] Now this isn't "hot" by Georgia standards, is it?
J-RP: (Looking at me as if I was nuts) Of course not! This is perfect!
TB: How has your initial experience gone? You were out here during the summer, going to class, working out, have you started to feel the time management squeeze?
J-RP: Yes, but with some of that finished up for a few weeks - I finished up my last class yesterday - we can come out here and play some football.
TB: Is it different getting off the corners here - you are facing some bigger, stronger defensive backs than you did in high school, right?
J-RP: That is true for sure, but you know, working over the summer with Coach (Terry) Obee, he helped a lot. We learned a lot about coming off the jam and beating your guy off the ball. That has been helping tremendously out there.
TB: What kind of offense was your team running in high school, a spread?
TB: Your fellow receivers, you are probably not used to having this many guys (12+) with playmaking ability - that are all in your position group...
J-RP: In college, everyone comes to play! Everybody here was pretty much an All-American or at least all-state so you have got to come out and compete every day!
TB: We ended up luring you all the way out here to the West Coast and historically that has been a happy outcome for a lot of guys from the South, but what was it in your heart of hearts than led you to decide to head out all this way to Stanford? Some light must have gone on that said "I have to go to Stanford"...
J-RP: The coaching staff. They make you feel loved and wanted. They come out here amp'd every single day. They want to win and that's something I want to be a part of!
TB: So, Jamal-Rashad Patterson, are we going to think of you as a "playmaker", a "red-zone guy", a "possession receiver"? We don't want to use the wrong label, are you a hybrid? What should we thinking about when setting expectations about how you can make contributions to the Cardinal offense?
J-RP: I want to do all I can to contribute. The main goal is to win, so whatever I can do to help the team, that is what I am going to be giving my all at! [Darn that outstanding media training they give these kids! Ha!]
TB: Sure, sure, but are you a "hands-guy", a "route-runner", a "speed guy"?
J-RP: YES! (Laughing as Coach Harbaugh walks by, giving young Patterson the "are you talking enough about your teammates?" look) .... I'll do whatever they need me to do!
TB: Has this offense been pretty easy for you to pick up? You've got your playbook now, it must be a little more complex than you were used to using before, do you have your hands around it?
J-RP: It is certainly more complex to learn than to execute. Eventually, when you're out there, football takes over and you aren't really thinking, you are playing ball. At that point it needs to be second-nature. But yeah, you need to study now, learn the plays, focus on that.
TB: We know ALL of your teammates are great, but who has turned your head at this early point in the preseason?
J-RP: Drew Terrell made a really nice catch on a slant, a post, caught it right out of the air, that was really nice. Got by the DB, that was a good one.
TB: These DBs think they can take you?
J-RP: Uh, I hope not!
TB: We were talking to Richard (Sherman) yesterday, he says he likes going up against all of you "athletes"!
J-RP: I love going against Richard. Love it!
TB: But you think you can take him?
J-RP: (Smiling playfully) Yes, I can take him, I burned him yesterday!
TB: Is your goal to make the traveling team or are you aiming even higher?
J-RP: They are taking six receivers and I am getting a lot of run with the "ones", so yes, I hope if I come out here and compete and compete and battle for that position and hopefully become a starter, good things will happen.
TB: But the coaching staff has talked to you in detail about the low likelihood that you would redshirt this year.
J-RP: Most definitely, I am not going to redshirt. I want to come out here and play.
TB: You still keeping the chemistry, staying tight with all your fellow freshmen in the '09 class?
J-RP: Oh yes, we're real tight! The thing I like with this class, we got to know each other before we even got here, talking on the phone, texting, some of the guys made visits at the same time. When we got here it was like "just another day", hangin' out and stuff. Over the summer we got to know each other in depth, which was better and now we're all real tight.
TB: What do you like to do outside of football, other than "girls" and "video games", that is? (Smiling as he knows I have nailed it!)
J-RP: School, keeping the chill at home.
TB: Is working out a "chore" or do you enjoy it?
J-RP: I enjoy it, but sometimes you have to rest your body a chance to relax, get some naps in to be sure, get some naps!
TB: Do you already have your schedule, have you any idea what area of academic study you might want to pursue?
J-RP: I am thinking about "communications" as one possibility, "psychology" is another. You know, a lot of guys here say you never really know until the time comes.
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