New England Patriots wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson only spent one season as a member of the Tennessee Vols football program, but it was certainly a year to remember for the South Carolina native.

In 2012, Patterson, a junior college transfer, exploded onto the scene in Knoxville. The extremely talented wide receiver caught six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown in his collegiate debut against NC State. He also rushed twice for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Patterson finished the 2012 season with 46 receptions for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He added 308 rushing yards and three touchdowns (he also returned a kick and a punt for a touchdown).

On Sunday night, Patterson will play in his first career Super Bowl. But before taking on the Los Angeles Rams, Patterson met with the media. He briefly discussed his time at Tennessee, saying “I should’ve stayed another year”. Patterson also called Vol fans “one of the best fan bases in the whole entire world”.

While I’m sure Tennessee fans would’ve enjoyed seeing Patterson play another year at UT, he probably made the right decision. Because of his breakout 2012 season, Patterson was a first round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (the Vikings took him with the No. 29 overall pick).

If Patterson would’ve stayed for another season, he would’ve been catching passes from Justin Worley instead of Tyler Bray (Patterson was high school teammates with Worley, but Bray was clearly the more talented quarterback). He also would’ve been playing for Butch Jones.

There’s a good chance Patterson would’ve dropped out of the first round had he stayed another season at Tennessee.

Of course, that’s all in the past now. Patterson acknowledged in the future he needs to get back to Knoxville more often.

Perhaps the next time he returns, he’ll have a Super Bowl ring to show off.

Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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