It wasn’t that long ago that Jenks senior Jayden Patrick was one of the young kids playing football under the bleachers on Friday nights during Trojan varsity games.
Flash forward a few years and Patrick is only a month away from his high school football career being over.
“It’s unbelievable,” said the 5-11, 168-pound receiver/cornerback. “It’s interesting, because I never thought I would be here and now that I’m actually here, it’s a surreal moment.”
“I’ve been in Jenks my entire life,” added Patrick. “I grew up watching (Oklahoma and NFL defensive back) Steven Parker and (Oklahoma State wide receiver) Dillon Stoner and all of those guys. I looked up to them and modeled my game after them.”
Patrick obviously took good notes because now he’s shining on both sides of the ball. He’s been a lockdown corner for Jenks the past two seasons and this year, he’s also emerged as a threat at receiver. He’s recorded 17 catches for 396 yards and seven touchdowns through seven games for the Class 6A-I second-ranked Trojans.
“My quarterback (senior Stephen Kittleman), first of all, puts the ball in amazing places so I’ve got to give that to him,” said Patrick, who caught two touchdown passes last week versus Edmond Memorial. “He’s probably the best quarterback in the state. I’m glad he’s on our team and we’re not playing against him.”
While he likes playing offense and scoring touchdowns, Patrick really prides himself on playing defense and covering an opponent’s best receiver.
“Basically, I’m trying to show that I’m the top corner in the state,” claimed Patrick. “I can shut down the great receivers in the state and the country. I love doing that.”
Patrick also returns kicks and is the holder on extra points, so he’s on the field for virtually every play.
“It takes a lot out of you mentally,” admitted Patrick. “It takes a toll on your body, but I enjoy doing it for my team. Offense, defense, special teams, pretty much anything I can do for the team.”
“It’s really difficult at the 6A-I level to play both sides of the football,” added Riggs. “He and Grant Lohr both play a lot of snaps on both sides and do an excellent job. It’s such a challenge physically and mentally to play both at this level. It just takes a special kid to do it.”
Patrick’s play the past two seasons has caught the eye of college recruiters. He’s being recruited as an athlete and has received a dozen offers from in-state and regional schools, including Division II power Pittsburg State. He’s been clocked at 4.58 in the 40-yard dash and has a 31-inch vertical jump.
“We all kind of knew what we had in Jayden and what his potential was on both sides of the ball,” remarked Riggs. “He had an outstanding year for us last year playing corner. We were real excited about him when he was a sophomore. He plays with great confidence on both sides of the football. He’s made some big plays in some big games.”
#2 Jenks takes on #8 Westmoore this Thursday, November 5th, in an important 6A district showdown. YurView will televise this Ford Game of the Week on Cox Channel 3 in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, at 7 pm CT or watch this game online.
As the clock winds down on his high school career, Patrick is happy to reflect on his and the Trojans’ accomplishments. But, in his mind, there’s still some unfinished business after finishing second in the state in each of the past two seasons.
“Basically we have one goal in mind – to win a state championship,” stated Patrick. “That’s been our motivation throughout the season. Just playing with pride and working hard and playing our best football at the end of the season.”
“I just want to bring back a championship. It’s been a long time.”