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Longmont alum Patterson commits to Indiana State

Jan. 10—Keegan Patterson may not have taken the traditional route through his collegiate football career but, thanks to the open-ended nature of today's transfer portal, he hopes he's finally found his home.

The former Longmont High quarterback, who ended his career with the Trojans in the fall of 2021, spent his freshman year at the University of Southern California watching from the sidelines, then transferred to a junior college, Northwest Mississippi Community College, for his sophomore stint.

Now, he'll take his talents to Indiana State University, an NCAA Division-I Football Championship Subdivision school.

"It was something where, for one, I was paying for school (at USC) and it was a little bit expensive," Patterson said. "That really was the main reason why I had to make the decision to leave. That year was awesome, but it was also really hard practicing each week and not getting ready to play in the game. Even if you're in a rotation where you're getting the backup reps or still preparing for the game, I wasn't getting to play. That's just hard to do. I wasn't going to really get a chance to get out of that for at least another year too. Caleb (Williams) was still there this year."

Patterson, with the help of his former club coach — Warrior 7-v-7's Warren McCarty — devised a plan that could catch the eye of other D-I programs. That landed him at Northwest Mississippi, where he only intended to stay for six months, so he could pad his stat sheet a bit and provide prospective coaches with fresh film.

In his single season with the JUCO program, he averaged 215.3 passing yards per game, 17.8 rushing yards per game and 17 touchdowns. It helped him knock off the rust that came along with not playing in a game for over a year.

"I think I did a good job of showing what I can do, a dual-threat game with my legs and things like that, sporadically," Patterson said. "I think I showed that I can make every throw on the field."

His lone season with the Rangers was the natural progression for a player that accumulated 7,359 passing yards, 1,816 rushing yards and 90 touchdowns in his three years with Longmont's varsity program.

McCarty, having trained him from his sophomore season on, knew his road through football wasn't done yet.

"He was the standard for everything and everybody, academically and athletically," McCarty said. "In terms of behavior, in the Warrior Program, I ask these dudes, in very simple terms, to be a gentleman off the field and be a fierce (player) on it. And that is who that kid is. He is an absolute gentleman off the field — kind, courteous, respectful. He flips the switch when he gets on the football field. The kid I inherited was skinny as a sophomore in high school, with a jersey that didn't fit, but he was hungry. He had some athletic gifts and was dead serious about becoming elite from the day I met him. He's done the work for almost five years now."

McCarty helped Patterson find his fit with the Rangers, then aided him further as he looked for what he hopes will be his final destination in college ball. Patterson, who leaves this week to head to Indiana State, hopes to help add a spark to a team that went 1-10 throughout the 2023 season.

He knows he'll have to earn his spot, just like he always has since the days he couldn't fit into his jersey.

"I'm going there to compete for the job. That's the plan," Patterson said. "That's the understanding, but I'm also going there to be a great teammate. They didn't have a great year last year. They lost a lot of one-score games, super close games. They need a change and they're working on change to help flip that around. I want to have some part in that."