BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Western New York has been pretty kind to Jaret Patterson. His football career took off and his mark on the University at Football program, forever stamped.
It wasn't an easy decision to forgo his senior year of college to go pro, but the decision has served him well.
"It's been good," Patterson said about his first few weeks in the NFL. "It's been everything I expected and I'm just happy and excited and enjoying the journey, enjoying the ride."
From an undrafted free agent to earning a spot on the Washington Football Team's 53-man roster, the journey is just beginning. Going from college to pro ball has taken some work but with so many veterans to learn from, Jaret's mindset is all in.
"This is not a 3-4 year type thing. This is a career," he said. "That's my shift and mindset. You have to trust the process, come to work everyday, get better, and take advantage of every opportunity."
And that's exactly what he's done. He's found a role on special teams and is always ready when called upon.
"When he's got the ball in his hands, Jaret is a very tough tackle," WFT head coach Ron Rivera said. "So it's exciting to watch him and I think he's got an opportunity to make some waves for us."
Patterson will be ready to go this Sunday as he plays inside Highmark Stadium for the first time ever. His twin brother James, a senior linebacker at UB, will be there to cheer him on.
"I can't wait because it's like his second home," James said. "It's funny because he was at my game [last weekend] and now I'll be at his game [this weekend]. It's gonna be a good experience. It'll be my first Bills game and I can't wait."
Because this Sunday is more than just Jaret suiting up for a football game. It's an opportunity to show his brother James and all of the other college athletes watching, that hard work and determination can go a long way.
"If I can do it, you can do it as well," Jaret said. "It's a marathon, not a sprint. I can't wait to get the opportunity because I know it's coming."