Zack Patteson considers himself to be your not-so-typical wide receiver.
But the East Central University junior-to-be feels like he is a perfect fit in head coach Tim McCarty’s pro-style offensive scheme.
“I love this offense because I’m different. I don’t fit into that receiver stereotype,” said Patteson, who was in attendance during Lone Star Conference Football Media Day activities at Incarnate Word University on Tuesday.
Patteson, who topped all Tiger receivers in catches (36), receiving yards (436) and touchdowns (6) in 2009, is comfortable as ECU’s ‘H’ receiver after earning First Team All-LSC North honors last year.
“I’m not really fast, but I’m physical and love the contact. It’s a perfect position for me at ‘H’ end. I played the slot in high school and we ran the spread,” Patteson said. “But with the ‘H’ you get to be a tight end, fullback or receiver. It’s one of the most fun positions, in my opinion, on the field.”
If there are shortcomings in Patteson’s game, he believes speed is the No. 1 obstacle.
“It’s speed and change of direction. I feel like all of my skills need some improvement like better hands and better coordination, but my biggest area of improvement needed is speed,” said Patteson.
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 200-pounder had a magnificent sophomore season as his six TD receptions came in three games (two per game). However, the Tigers suffered through a winless 0-11 season and enter the 2010 campaign with 13 straight losses.
Patteson believes a turnaround in ECU’s fortunes is on the horizon this season, despite the fact that Tigers were picked last (seventh) in the LSC North preseason poll which was released Tuesday.
He is certainly out to prove the pollsters wrong
“If they picked us last it’s too bad for them, because they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. If they’re picking us last, they’re mistaken,” Patteson said.
Part of Patteson’s optimism is in the Tiger triggermen – quarterbacks Tyler Vanderzee and Josh Phillips. Vanderzee, a junior college transfer, edged out the senior Phillips in the spring, but Patteson thinks both are capable of leading ECU to some success in 2010.
“Tyler has an aura about him. He’s very humble, has a rocket arm and is extremely accurate. He also makes smart decisions,” said Patteson. “Josh has been here longer and knows the playbook. He hasn’t been afraid to help Tyler out with the offense.”
Patteson knows that the Tigers’ running game will need to be kicked into a higher gear after it averaged just 1.8 yards per carry last year.
“We have some new backs coming in and the coaches have done a great job of bringing in some offensive linemen who should open up significantly bigger holes for our running backs,” Patteson said.