Patterson focuses on improving every day

One of the top JUCO pass-rushers in the country last season was West LA DE Darrien Patterson (6-4, 245). His explosive first step and great footwork allowed him to bring the heat off the edge and caused lots of problems for opposing offenses. caught up with the talented defensive line prospect and he filled us in on things...

Patterson graduated from Dominguez (Compton, Ca.) High School and knew pretty early on that he would need to go the JC route in order to play D-1 football.

"I didn't really get recruited because of my grades, so I just started to look at JCs and West Los Angeles was the best school for me," Patterson told "The coaches didn't just talk about football. They talked about life and school and it really felt like they thought of us all as a family and when you're a dad, you want your sons to do well in both sports and in school and in life and you don't want him to just be a good football player and that's what I felt with the coaches here.

"At a couple different programs, I didn't feel like they even cared about that stuff and that sorta showed me what they really cared about."

As a freshman last fall, Patterson was an absolute beast off the edge posting 12 sacks and 50 tackles while starting every game.

"We didn't really play a strongside or weakside spot, we just rotated guys in and depending on the formation and then team we were facing I would line up at different spots," Patterson said.

While he's a pass-rusher, Patterson said he takes pride in stopping the run as well and said no matter what he is focused on improving every aspect of his game.

"You can always get better, even at the stuff you are good at already," Patterson noted. "I'm working on my strength, my footwork and my moves. I have a good first step and my punch is really good, but I want my hands to be better and my strength to improve and that's what I'm working hard on this summer."

As far as recruiting goes, Patterson said he hasn't talked to very many schools and doesn't even care whether he has offers, at least at this point in the process.

"Honestly, I hope my coaches keep that sort of information from me," Patterson said with a hint of a laugh. "That stuff will all take care of itself. I just want to focus on school and improving so I can help my team win this fall.

"When I need to know that stuff, then I have faith that my coaches will let me know, but until then I'm really not that worried about it.

"There were a lot of big schools out to see us this spring and they tried to talk to me, but I just shook their hand and went on with things because I was at practice and wanted to work with my team."

Patterson is on pace to finish things up in May and he will have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

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