Damoun Patterson: Undrafted to Phenom

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09: Steelers WR Damoun Patterson (83) checks in at the line during the NFL Preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Damoun Patterson is an undrafted rookie out of Youngstown State University. Patterson wasn’t a big name wide receiver coming out of high school or college. After he went undrafted he signed a tryout deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers for training camp and preseason. Patterson has taken full advantage of this opportunity and has been a camp sensation around the league in his pursuit to land on an NFL roster.

Damoun Patterson: Undrafted to Phenom

Early Life

Damoun Patterson was born in Orlando, Florida and was one of nine children. Patterson spent much of his childhood finding shelter. He would move year in and year out whether it was staying with family, friends, or his mother. He went school district to school district until his junior year in high school where he was staying with his family and then his friends when it was time to graduate. Patterson was considered homeless which was hard for him as a young man but he never let those moments ruin him or dictate who he would become.

High School career

Damoun Patterson didn’t have recruiters banging on his door to play football at the next level but Utah State was one of the few schools who showed interest. Patterson only had a 2.9 grade point average in high school due to him not being in a stable condition and moving school to school. In his junior season in high school Patterson recorded 17 catches for 465 yards and had an offensive player of the week award. In his senior season he recorded 20 catches for 256 yards.

One of high school teammates told him about a prep school in New Mexico he could attend to play football and focus on school to try to get him to the next level. After 3 games into the season the program fell apart and Patterson had no where to go. He stayed in touch with the wide receivers coach from Utah State and sent him film from his 3 games. Patterson was told he could walk on in 2014 at Utah State in which he did while starting 3 games, catching 2 passes and being a contributor on special teams.

Again, it fell apart

After his first season in Utah he was told he would have to wait another year on his scholarship so he decided to leave school and head elsewhere. He went back to Florida where he struggled for a little bit by living in his car and doing whatever it took to survive. Until he heard about a scholarship opening at Highland Junior College which is located in Kansas. In his first season at the Junior College he caught 25 passes for 437 yards while averaging 17.5 yards per catch.

After that season Patterson was awarded a scholarship at Youngstown State where someone wanted him and he felt home. Patterson caught 52 passes for 1,039 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 20 yards per catch in two seasons. Patterson has always been a key contributor on special teams whether he was at which is a key piece in making an NFL roster as a tryout.

National Football League

Damoun Patterson wasn’t drafted out of Youngstown State. It took two weeks for Patterson to be signed by an NFL team due to the media reporting he signed with the Atlanta Falcons but the deal was never consummated. That could have been another dream of his as he wrote about playing in the NFL and for the Atlanta Falcons as a elementary schooler. His grandmother still has that essay and was going to share his essay if he was singed by the Falcons. Patterson refused to give up on his dream and his agent had arranged for him to attend the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie mini camp on a tryout basis and he shined which eventually brought him into training camp. Patterson worked out for the Steelers for the rest of spring and really started to shine when the pads came on in training camp and he was flying all over the field. Patterson has passed every test so far in training camp and his first two preseason games and has had praise from the coaching staff and the veterans on the team. Damoun has two kids and a third on the way so making a professional team would mean the world to him and he is doing everything in his power to prove he belongs.

Q&A with Damoun Patterson

Q: Was football your first love and did you ever have thoughts about giving up on football?
A : Yes, football is my first love & all the time, especially not having any offers coming out of high school.

Q: With the trade of Bryant and the young WR’s on the roster did you see an opportunity to prove yourself being undrafted?
A: Being a tryout guy I had & have to continue to prove myself.

Q: What have you learned thoughout training camp from a second year receiver like JuJu and a veteran receiver like Antonio Brown?
A: Take care of your body & go hard every opportunity.

Q: What was your main goal coming into training camp and preseason ? And the regular season?
A: To give it all I got and see what happens.

Q: Whats your greatest football moment? Why?
A: Greatest football (moment) is signing my rookie contract. Coming into mini camp as a tryout guy I didn’t really know what to expect.

Q: What is your game day food?
A: My favorite game day food is spaghetti.

 

Main image credit:Embed from Getty Images

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