- Ben Hall
From a two-star recruit to one of the best running backs in college football: Jaret Patterson
Last season, Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson rushed for 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns, both of which are single-season school records. He led the MAC in rushing yards and ranked fifth in the nation. He was named First Team All-MAC.
Since his freshman year, Patterson has made a name for himself in all of college football. Patterson rushed for 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns. After a terrific season, he was named MAC Freshman of the Year and Second Team All-MAC.
Patterson went onto set the single-season Buffalo school record for rushing yards and touchdowns as a freshman as well.
Patterson is from Glendale, Maryland and played his high school football at Saint Vincent Pallotti. Despite rushing for 2,045 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior year, Patterson was ranked just a two-star recruit on 247sports.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to it.” Patterson said when asked how being ranked as a two-star recruit fueled him to prove others wrong. “It just made me have that chip on my shoulder to not really prove people wrong, but to prove myself right. I can play with anybody in the country. And that still fuels me to this day.”
Following their junior season in high school, Jaret Patterson, along with his twin brother James, verbally committed to the University of Buffalo. They chose Buffalo over Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Monmouth, Ohio, Robert Morris, Toledo, and many more.
“Buffalo has meant a lot,” Patterson said about what Buffalo has meant to him. “They gave me and my brother the opportunity of a lifetime. We always wanted to go to school together and they gave us that opportunity. They really showed love as well as the MAC schools. That’s why I greatly appreciate not just Buffalo, but the rest of the MAC conference. I wasn’t highly recruited coming out of high school. Buffalo will definitely forever be in my heart and it really means a lot to me.”
James Patterson was also ranked as just a two-star recruit coming out of Saint Vincent Pallotti by 247sports. He has been the starting outside linebacker for Buffalo since his freshman year. Jaret Patterson has enjoyed being able to play college football alongside his brother.
“It's great man, it’s really a dream come true.” Patterson said. “I really can’t explain it. Having your brother on the opposite side of the ball, having him push you, and pushing each other on and off the field has been nothing but a blessing. I really can’t complain. I'm grateful for the opportunity that Buffalo has given us.”
Both brothers have played a big role in turning the Buffalo program around. Prior to the 2018 season, Buffalo hadn't been bowl eligible since 2013. The 10 wins were also the most in school history.
It was towards the end of his freshman year and the beginning of his sophomore year where Jaret Patterson began to turn NFL scouts' heads.
During his sophomore year, the Bowling Green game was the one which gained national press. Patterson had 26 carries for 298 yards and six touchdowns which is set the MAC record. This capped off the Bulls regular season with a 7-5 record.
“It was special.” Patterson said. “That day was Senior Day and I just wanted the seniors to go out with a bang. That was the last home game they were going to play. I wanted to make it special for them. Also, we needed to win one more game to get the bowl bid. So, that was my mindset, to come out strong and finish with a bang for them guys who really turned the program around and made it who it is today.”
In the Bulls final game of the season, the Bahamas Bowl, Buffalo defeated Charlotte 31-9. Patterson rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns. He was also named MVP.
Jaret and his brother will be heading into their junior seasons this fall. Jaret is currently ranked as one of the top running back prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft. However, that is not where his focus is at all.
“Winning a MAC championship,” Patterson said about the goal for the upcoming season. “That has definitely been on our radar. We had a glimpse of it my freshman year. We want to get back to Detroit to win a MAC championship.”