When Shea Patterson took the team bus to the Big House in Ann Arbor before games, he would often see little kids tailgating with their parents. Those sights and sounds immediately brought back memories from his youth.
“I always dreamt of playing in the Big House and playing for the University of Michigan,” Patterson said on Tiki & Tierney. “I really enjoyed my time there and gained a ton of knowledge [from] Coach Harbaugh. I just really learned a lot about the game and just learned a lot about how to approach each day and really just try to be a professional.”
Patterson was born in Toledo, Ohio, but his family moved to South Texas after the economy crashed in 2008. He played for Ole Miss for two years before transferring to Michigan.
For him, playing for Jim Harbaugh was an unforgettable experience.
“The one thing that he truly passed on to me is just his passion for the game and the way he approaches every single day,” Patterson said. “You always got the same Coach Harbaugh in the office and at practice. He was always intense and very serious about the game and getting better every single day. I think his passion for the game is contagious. I’ve never had more fun playing for a coach. I’ve gotten the opportunity to play for a lot of coaches throughout my college career and high school career, and I haven’t had more fun and wanted to play for a guy as much as I did [for] Coach Harbaugh.”
Patterson went 19-7 in two seasons as a starter for Michigan. He completed 60.1 percent of his passes – seventh-best in school history – and threw for 45 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Michigan was unable to beat Ohio State or reach the Big Ten Championship. Harbaugh, in fact, has not accomplished either of those feats through five seasons, and it seems some fans are getting restless.
“Obviously Michigan, they’re the winningest program in college football history, so I think their expectations are very high and they won’t accept anything other than a Big Ten title, beat Ohio State and win a national championship,” Patterson said. “Anything below that is kind of a disappointment. My biggest regret throughout my two years there – I wish I would have went there all four years – was not being able to do that for him. Because I know how bad he wants it. I think . . . Michigan fans and Michigan alumni need to understand that Coach Harbaugh works his tail off every single day to accomplish that, and I think he will very soon.”
Patterson, meanwhile, is focused on the next step of his football journey. He went undrafted but signed with Kansas City on May 3. He, along with Chad Henne, will back up Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.
“I felt like I worked very hard,” Patterson said of the last few months. “It was a very fast transition right after the bowl game. We played Alabama on [January 1], and literally a couple days later I was down at IMG in Bradenton, Florida, just training. I felt like I got four good months of work in and really felt like I got myself better each and every day. I felt prepared going into the Combine and then to the Senior Bowl. Just overall, it was a great experience. I didn’t really know what to expect on draft day, but I knew sooner or later I was going to get my chance. I think that’s all you can ask for at this level.”