AMHERST, NY (WKBW) — Jaret Patterson has certainly left his mark at the University at Buffalo.
"I'm just trying to lead and set the standard for this program that guys can go to the next level," he said.
With minimal offers out of high school, Patterson became one of the best running backs to come through the Bulls program. A standout three-year career that helped him decide to go pro.
"I've done everything I could at this university and it was time," said Patterson. "I really feel like I'm ready to be a pro, to be one of the great running backs at the next level."
At 5-foot-7 and just under 200 pounds, Patterson is one of the smaller running backs in this year's draft class. But his mindset and attitude are what every coach wants in a rookie player.
"Stars don't matter. Size doesn't matter," he said. "What matters is you get the opportunity and what you do with it."
And that's exactly what Patterson did in 2020. Playing in just six regular season games, Patterson led the FBS in rushing yards a game, ranked 3rd in rushing touchdowns, and tied an NCAA record with eight rushing touchdowns in a single game. He's done a lot of good things on the ground but he can also do a lot more, and that's what makes him different.
"I can pass, catch, I'm an all-around back. I can block, I can catch kicks," he added. "It just shows my versatility."
Small stature, big performance. Words Patterson lived up to in college and is ready to do it all over again in the NFL.
"Look how far I came," he reflected. "That's nothing but God. I kind of shed a tear just reflecting about my journey. I know it's not over. I know it's just the beginning. I'm just blessed to be in this position."
Patterson says he's talked to several NFL teams who were all impressed with his ability both on the ground and in the air. He's projected to be a day three pick, taken in the 5th or 6th round.