His father, Andre, is the defensive line coach at UNLV, so the 2011 prospect, when he was young, would watch different hand drills that defensive linemen did, breaking down film of defensive tackles attacking the interior of offensive lines, and spending much time out on the field.
So as the 6-1, 285-pound Patterson begins his junior year for the Gaels, he's been able to use his knowledge of what defensive linemen do to polish his skills as an offensive lineman.
"When I was little, I was doing hand drills that defensive linemen did and watched a lot of tape with my dad," said Patterson. "But I've always been more of an offensive player. That's helped me because I know what defensive linemen will try to do probably more than most offensive linemen."
Patterson's also been able to see what the recruiting process has been like, having his father go out and recruit, but also being a part of a talented Gaels squad that already has five players committed to Pac-10 schools in the class of 2010 and features several other talented players.
Already, Patterson is beginning to receive attention himself from numerous programs.
"I'm hearing from USC, UCLA, Florida, Cal, Nevada, UNLV, Idaho, Washington, Texas A&M, Bowling Green, Colorado and Arizona State," said Patterson. "Two programs I'm liking a lot right now are Cal and UCLA."
Of course, UNLV is also in the mix, but Patterson said he's not feeling any pressure to stay close to home.
"My dad is letting me go through the process and being a dad and not really a coach through this, but he wouldn't mind seeing me end up at UNLV," said Patterson. "It's early though so I'm seeing what will be the best college experience for me. I do like UNLV, but I want to look at several schools."
Patterson took in three camps in California this spring and summer.
"I went to the Rising Stars Camp at USC and then we did a team camp at Fresno State and I also did the Nike Camp at USC," said Patterson. "I did really well at the USC camp. Every 1-on-1 at Fresno State I won."
While he has numerous teammates who have made early choices, it's too soon for Patterson to even set a timeline for his own recruitment.
"If I get an offer from a school that I think is the right fit and the right place for me early on, then I don't mind committing, but if I don't find that school, I'll wait," said Patterson.
With 19 months until he can sign a National Letter of Intent, Patterson knows he's got more time to develop. "I'm just hitting the weight room hard and we're lifting as a team to get ready," said Patterson.
Patterson started as a sophomore at center for the Gaels last fall, though they came up short in their bid to repeat as state champions. This year, they feature one of the most talented squads in the West.
"We're back next week lifting and running, then we start two-a-days in August. I'm feeling really strong right now," said Patterson.
Academically, Patterson has a 3.4 GPA and has taken the PSAT but will wait to take the ACT and SAT in the spring of 2010.