New England Patriots wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the more electric play-makers Tennessee has had in football in the last decade-plus. Sadly for Vol fans, he only played for the Vols for one season before going to the NFL.
But now that Patterson has been away from college for seven years, he says he wishes he had stayed another year at Tennessee.
Patterson spoke with the media on Monday as his team prepares for the Super Bowl on Sunday. He was asked multiple questions about his college team during all the NFL talk, and he answered one question by saying he should’ve stayed at UT for one more season.
“I should’ve stayed another year, because I enjoyed every moment,” Patterson said according to Allan Bell of 247Sports. “You know, all the people that impacted me there, it was a dream come true getting to play in front of all those people, that crowd. It’s one of the best fan bases in the whole entire world.
“I love Tennessee. I need to get back there. I don’t get there often.”
In Patterson’s lone season at Tennessee in 2012, he made a big impact. He caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns while also carrying the ball 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned both a punt and a kick-off for a touchdown during the 2012 season.
Patterson joined the Vols as a highly-touted junior college receiver, and he burst onto the scene in Tennessee’s first game that season against NC State. Patterson hauled in six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown and also scored a rushing touchdown and totaled 72 rushing yards on just two carries. He would declare for the 2013 NFL Draft after the 2012 season with Tennessee making a head coaching change that offseason. Patterson was drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings.
That 2012 Tennessee offense set school records and was one of the more electrifying offenses in college football. And the man who called plays for that offense is back at UT.
Jim Chaney was Tennessee’s offensive coordinator during the one year Patterson was with the Vols, and Patterson is excited to see Chaney back as the Vols’ play-caller. Chaney was hired away from Georgia by head coach Jeremy Pruitt this offseason to be his new OC.
“Coach Chaney, man, he’s one of the best offensive coaches I’ve ever been around,” Patterson said in an interview captured by Tennessee’s official football Twitter. “I’m happy for him. Glad he’s back with the Vols.
“I still got one year of eligibility left, I may go back down there when I’m done with this and go play for him.”
Patterson is, of course, being facetious about coming back to Tennessee after the Super Bowl, but his thoughts about Chaney as a coach are evident.
In six seasons in the NFL, Patterson has caught 184 passes for 1,872 yards and 10 touchdowns while also running for 682 yards and seven scores on 86 carries in 95 games. He’s also returned six kick-offs for touchdowns in his career. In his first season with New England this year, Patterson made 21 catches for 247 yards and three touchdowns and also set career-highs in rushing attempts with 42 and rushing yards with 228. He also scored a rushing touchdown and returned a kick-off for a touchdown.
In the playoffs, Patterson has caught two passes for 18 yards, has a carry for three yards, and is averaging 27.3 yards per return on four kick-off returns.