And so begins another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.
#55 Jarrett Patterson, Center
Jarrett Patterson was always considered a solid prospect coming into his time at ND, but to say his emergence as a starter as a sophomore is a surprise is to really undersell it.
Patterson came into South Bend in the 2018 class as a last-minute addition, committing to (and signing with) the Irish over the Michigan Wolverines on National Signing Day in February of last year. He was a highly-sought-after 4-star offensive tackle recruit (369th overall and 25th in terms of OTs in the 247sports.com composite rankings) who originally committed to the Arizona State Sun Devils in August of 2017.
However, as other schools began to show interest after his senior season, Patterson opened things up in December and took visits to Michigan, the UCLA Bruins, and Notre Dame. The 6’5”, athletic tackle from Laguna Hills, CA (a Mission Viejo product — same school as Max Redfield) looked like a potential tackle of the future for ND, and even managed to see a tiny bit of PT in garbage time of 3 games as a true freshman (which, of course, means he didn’t exhaust any eligibility and still has 4 potential seasons as an Irish lineman ahead of him). The playing time he received was at tackle, his natural position and the position everyone assumed he would stay within throughout his collegiate career.
However, what became evident this spring is that Patterson had been training as a center on the scout team in 2018, and during Cotton Bowl practices he was getting a lot of work at center behind 5th-year senior Sam Mustipher. With Mustipher’s graduation, Patterson apparently seized the starting center spot in the spring over older guys like Trevor Ruhland and Joshua Lugg, and all signs point to him retaining that role come Labor Day Weekend against the Louisville Cardinals.
Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Chicago
“Call On Me” - Chicago
A mainstay in the middle of the ND offensive line departed after 2018 with Sam Mustipher’s graduation, and Patterson stepped into the open role, earned it with his performance in practice, and said to Irish coaches, teammates, and fans, “Call On Me.” He’s ready for this, folks. It’s a new era in the middle of the Notre Dame offensive front.
Hey Dog HEY!
Doing our best to make sure you know which one of man’s best friends match each Notre Dame player.
The Alaskan Malamute is a dog breed, according to its Wikipedia page, that was “originally bred for their strength and endurance to haul heavy freight, and later as a sled dog.” I can think of no better symbol for the new core of the Notre Dame offensive front (who, ya know, trains by moving sleds, folks!!!), so this was an easy choice for Patterson.
I’m not under any delusions that Patterson will be an All-American in his first real season of action — especially at a position most never pegged him to play. However, Patterson’s meteoric rise up the center depth chart has to mean he’s been fairly impressive at the position, so I think he’s going to have a solid season in 2019 (with some inevitable growing pains) that will set him up for a couple fantastic seasons the next couple years.
Of course, considering the sudden position switch, who knows if Patterson will remain at center. Maybe he will be too good to move from the spot, but with 2019 freshman Zeke Correll coming in this year and being groomed specifically to play center, Patterson may end up moved elsewhere to fill a gap if Correll is ready to go in the next year or two.
Either way, Patterson looks to be locked in as a starter for next year, and likely for the rest of his ND career, and that’s something to be very excited about for the true sophomore making waves at a position that some don’t excel at until they’re upperclassmen.
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Dude is athletic and smart — he’s going to be a good one at center once he gets some experience making the calls and managing his line-mates.