“I live two minutes from the school so it’s not a big deal coming here,” Patterson said.
When Patterson comes to the football field, he runs two miles around the track with hopes of finishing in 15 minutes. Then he runs up the steps of the stadium’s bleachers. For agility and endurance, he climbs the steps one by one and then skips every other step.
“I do this because I know how much I need to run during the game,” Patterson said. “I know how much I’ve done in the past. Two miles every day in the morning with some agility — that is a good workout.”
While this offseason preparation is good for Patterson, the better part of his summer is that he got to be a member of the Atlanta Silverbacks reserve team for the past two months.
“I’m already a big guy for being 18 so playing with the Silverbacks with grown men and going into Georgia State playing with ‘grown’ men is a good matchup for me starting out at an early age,” said Patterson, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 190 pounds.
After participating in scrimmages, Patterson was a spectator on the sideline for a couple of games but then given the opportunity to play the last five minutes of one game.
“I felt rewarded because I came to training and I was the youngest player,” said Patterson, who filled the position of centerback. “Everyone is about five, six years older than me but I held my own.”
For Georgia State, Patterson has been recruited as a midfielder but said he can also play center back, center midfield, left back and right back. The Panthers open the preseason against Oglethorpe Aug. 16.