HOOVER, Ala. – Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson doesn’t mind drawing comparisons to Johnny Manziel. In fact, he likes them.
Patterson spoke of his respect for the way Manziel, a former Texas A&M quarterback, played at SEC Media Days last Thursday.
“It’s awesome,” Patterson said. “I tend to watch guys like that (on film), like Johnny and Aaron Rodgers. I cannot watch enough film of them, just because I like the way they extend plays. I watch so much film of them on YouTube that you find yourself doing the same stuff that they do without even trying to do it. It’s definitely a benefit to have that ability to extend plays.”
Patterson, a sophomore this fall, started Ole Miss’ final three games last season after Chad Kelly went down with a torn ACL, throwing for 880 yards and six touchdowns while adding another 169 yards rushing.
In his debut, Patterson had arguably his best performance, as he threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns (with one interception) while also rushing for 64 yards in a 29-28 victory. After the game, he specifically noted that Manziel was his “favorite player growing up.”
Patterson, though not as effective in his next two games which were both losses, still showed enough to support his ranking as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the nation in the 2016 recruiting cycle. Manziel, while not highly ranked out of high school, won the Heisman Trophy in 2012.
Senior Bowl scouting coordinator Patrick Woo agrees with the comparison as well. In an interview with Gridiron Now late last month, Woo said the comparison between Patterson and Manziel was appropriate.
“There’s definitely a lot of it that comes out when Shea starts running around with the ball,” Woo said. “It’s so exciting to watch Shea Patterson improvise. Now, moving forward, you’ll obviously want to turn him into more of a pocket passer and help him develop more poise in the pocket.
“Those were certainly things that Johnny Manziel, Dak Prescott, Josh Dobbs and other dual-threat quarterbacks had to improve in throughout their careers as well. So I think that’s the next step for Shea, not trying to improvise so much. But it’s hard for him to kind of dial it back because he is so athletic and is such a dynamic playmaker.”
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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