After an impressive start to his freshman season, Corbin wide receiver Dakota Patterson got the news that he has been waiting for since he first picked up a football, when Corbin Coach Justin Haddix informed him that he had been offered an athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky.
For anyone who has watched the Redhounds on the field this season, it is easy to see the kind of ability Patterson has at the receiver position. Not only does Patterson look the part at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, but he has been a standout in the Corbin offense. Patterson had his breakout moment against Knox Central this season when he caught five passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Haddix said that Patterson’s talent is “special,” especially for a freshman, and talked about the work ethic he has displayed, even last spring as an eighth-grader.
“Dakota is a special talent,” said Haddix. “He’s a strong kid and worked in the weight room with us last spring. He has strong hands and is getting better everyday.”
Patterson’s work ethic is what has helped get him to the level at which he is playing. Like many young men, he has had aspirations of playing in the National Football League for as long as he can remember, but what separates him from many of his peers is the amount of hard work and long hours he is willing to put into improving his game.
He said when Haddix first told him about the offer, he immediately got emotional because he was finally seeing the work he has put into becoming a better football player was now paying off for him.
“I’ve been playing football ever since I could get a ball in my hand, and it’s just been a dream to play in the NFL one day. I’ve put a lot of time in the gym just getting stronger and working on my craft, and God has blessed me with the size to do it,” said Patterson. “When I first heard about the offer I almost didn’t believe it. I was just in shock. It brought me to tears just finally seeing that my work is paying off and people are starting to notice.”
With the playoffs this season just beginning, and three more years of high school football after this one, there is no doubt that Patterson will accumulate more offers and interest as his career continues. But, even though his first collegiate offer was special to him, his focus remains on getting better as an individual so he can help the Redhounds succeed as a program.
“I want state championships and I want to get better and move forward with my life as an athlete and student-athlete,” said Patterson. “I want to keep UK interested in me and I don’t want to let them down.”
As for the Redhounds, Patterson makes the second young player to garner scholarship offers on the team. Sophomore Treyveon Longmire currently has seven Division I offers, including one from the University of Kentucky. Haddix said having players like Patterson and Longmire with offers is not only good for them, but also for their teammates. Patterson was actually noticed by one of the Kentucky coaches who was there to see Longmire.
“This is great for not only Dakota and Treyveon with big time offers, but we will have a ton of big colleges in our building this spring and summer and they will be able to see our other players,” Haddix said. “That is how Dakota was noticed. We really push to get our kids to get looked at.”