Patterson learning life in orange and white

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ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. — How do you follow up a decorated, record-setting JUCO career and five-star prospect status?

For Cordarrelle Patterson, that's an easy answer. Get better.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver holds over a dozen records at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College and was twice named NJCAA All-American. But, at Tennessee, he's just one of the guys, which is part of the reason why he chose to sign with the Volunteers over schools like Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.

Since National Signing Day, Patterson has spoken openly about the excitement of learning alongside a pair of NFL-bound wideouts in Tennessee juniors Justin Hunter and Da' Rick Rogers and not having to cope with consistent double teams because of their presence.

Along with learning alongside those two, just going against SEC-level defensive backs is already helping Patterson become a better football player.

"Our guys out here, they're physical," he said. "The corners are always on you. They'll hold you or whatever."

The skills that FOX Sports NEXT analysts saw in making the Rock Hill, S.C., were on display early into Vol training camp as he went over the top of cornerbacks to make big plays. However, after landing on his right shoulder wrong, Patterson has donned a red no-contact jersey.

"He has been in a red shirt, but he is doing everything," coach Derek Dooley said Wednesday. "We just aren't hitting him right now. I think he is getting there. He is not 100 percent, but he is getting there. 

"The last couple of practices you have noticed him. The first 10 or so he was just swimming, it is a lot of stuff, learning how to play fast and it is hard to play fast when you are not sure what to do."

Knoxville is yet to see the extended version of its prized signee as the mental adjustment to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney's scheme has been understandably slow in the initial dozen days. His position coach, Darin Hinshaw, who also was his lead recruiter, agrees that the best is yet to come.

"This kid's potential is through the roof," Hinshaw told InsideTennessee. "We've got to get him right up here (pointing to his head), understanding how to do everything and then go play fast."

Take a look at what Patterson had to say to the media for the first time as a Volunteer:

In the footage below, Hinshaw talks about Patterson and the Vol passing attack with

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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