Patterson excited to be part of 'magic'

He grew up in Oklahoma and he was almost enrolled at Arkansas. But a series of events landed the JUCO National Player of the Year in Aggieland and he couldn't be more excited about it. Aggie Websider visits with Joe Patterson about his decision and what he expects in his first year as an Aggie.

It's no secret that Texas A&M baseball coach Rob Childress and his staff like tough players who will compete hard. He signed Denny Clement, a three-time state wrestling champion who played linebacker and tailback for his state championship football team, and now he's signed another fiery competitor in JUCO All-American Joe Patterson, who was an All-State quarterback in the Sooner state as well before hanging up football.

But he didn't become an All-American without adversity, which is another quality that Childress and Co. surely love to have.

On July 5th of 2006, the summer before his freshman year at Arkansas, Patterson got a call on his way back from a fishing trip with his father, Bill. Arkansas coaches told him that he should look into other options because they were too full and didn't have room for him on scholarship.

The phone call devastated Patterson—but only for a brief moment.

"He moped around for about 10 minutes then he just decided he was going to go out and prove what he was capable of," Bill said. "I told him ‘if you weren't tough enough to get through this you weren't tough enough anyway.'"

Patterson ended up going to Oral Roberts his freshman year, but he admits now he was still immature at that point and he never really found his niche, which is when he decided to transfer once again to Seminole State College.

That's where Patterson blossomed this season, thanks in large part to Seminole State head coach Jeff Schaeffer, who was a hitting instructor with the Minnesota Twins before taking over the head coaching job at Seminole State.

"(Coach Schaeffer) made some adjustments to Joe's swing that put some more backspin on the ball," Bill said. "He had always been a good line drive hitter but with the adjustments he was able to get it over the wall instead of hitting line drives that one hopped the wall."

Patterson hit .428 with a nation-leading 28 home runs and 95 RBI this year, which is why Matt Deggs, who had also recruited Patterson to Arkansas, jumped on him once again.

The fact that Deggs already had a relationship with Patterson was one of the factors in his decision to go to A&M.

"It was a pretty big deal," Patterson said. "When he called we had a long conversation because we were really familiar with each other."

Bill said he was also glad that Deggs had landed at A&M because it's a school that he would love for both of his kids to attend if he had the chance. That's why he didn't waste any time jumping in the car and bring Joe down for a game at Olsen Field this spring.

"Since he was a little kid he had heard me say from time to time that if I could send my kids to one school in the nation, I would love to send them to Texas A&M because of the great tradition and the way that people throw themselves into being Aggies. It's a great place to get a degree. That's the greatest thing about it, and I know that Aggies take care of Aggies. There's a great network of alumni once you finish.

"Once we went down there and he saw the crowd and the way the students get in the game and the atmosphere and all that and he wanted to be a part of that."

Patterson said he was especially impressed with "Olsen Magic" during his visit to A&M when the Aggies beat Missouri in dramatic fashion.

"I saw the sign that said Olsen Magic as I came into the stadium and I was just wondering what it was. Then I watched a highlight video and they talked about Olsen Magic," Patterson said. "The wind was blowing in about 30 mph that day and hardly anyone had gotten the ball out of the infield all day. Then the leadoff hitter (Kyle Colligan) hits a homerun to win the game and I'm sure he's a great hitter, but I think Olsen Magic might have had a little bit to do with that."

Patterson hopes that he can use a little of the Olsen Magic to help the Aggies reach their ultimate goal.

"My main goal is to come down and win a national championship in Omaha," he said. "Whatever the team needs me to do is what I'm going to do for them."

The former high school football standout is also looking forward to game days at Kyle Field this fall as well.

"I've never been (to a game at Kyle Field) before but I'm really excited. I'm excited about Yell Practice and all that neat stuff that goes with Aggie football."

But when asked if he was interested in suiting up for Mike Sherman and the Aggies on Saturdays this fall, he laughed.

"I don't have any business on a football field anymore," he said.




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