Temple has set itself up for an intriguing preseason quarterback competition.
Quincy Patterson committed to the Owls on May 18, arriving at what he says will be his last stop with two years of eligibility remaining. His final two choices were Temple and Troy.
“I probably talked to 40 schools and I just told them all the same thing,” Patterson told The Inquirer. “They’re all like, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘I just want a chance to compete.’”
First-year coach Stan Drayton said during spring practice that Temple could look to the transfer portal to add some competition at quarterback. Patterson will duke it out with returning starter D’Wan Mathis, who transferred from Georgia for the starting job in December 2020.
Patterson played in 11 games over three seasons at Virginia Tech (2018-20). He left feeling as if there wasn’t much more he could do to sniff a starting spot in Blacksburg, Va., so he transferred to North Dakota State in December 2020.
The 6-foot-3, 242-pound quarterback went 7-0 as a starter in his lone season before suffering an injury to the AC joint in his throwing shoulder. Patterson only saw the field in run packages thereafter, as backup Cam Miller took over duties under center.
Miller led the Bison to an FCS national championship, leaving Patterson feeling some deja vú. He didn’t see a path to a legitimate quarterback competition. There was plenty of open dialogue about the situation, but Patterson understood that North Dakota State was unlikely to bench its championship quarterback.
The day after Patterson entered the transfer portal for a second time on May 10, he got a call from Temple’s wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Jafar Williams, who held a similar position while they were both at Virginia Tech.
“[Williams is] a lot like Drayton in that he’s really real,” Patterson said. “Like if you [stink], you [stink] and he’ll tell you that. It didn’t matter what position you played. ... That’s my boy, and when I came to Temple it was all smiles as soon as I saw him.”
Drayton and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf were ultimately what drew the dual-threat quarterback and Chicago native to Temple.
Patterson feels that at 21 years old, he has become adept at reading through feigned praise, having been through the recruitment process three times now. He never felt that with his new head coach.
“For me to come on a visit and hear him say some of the things he said, you can tell that’s who he is,” Patterson said. “There was nothing to see through. He was him. I definitely respect him for that.”
As for how Temple may utilize him, Patterson envisions whoever the starter is to follow a comparable scheme to that of Tommy Armstrong, who played under Langsdorf at Nebraska for two seasons. Armstrong was similarly a dual-threat quarterback and set Nebraska career records for total offense, total touchdowns, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.
Whoever Temple’s quarterback is, he’ll see split snaps under center and in shotgun. He’ll also be expected to run the ball. But Langsdorf won’t be calling anywhere near 20 designed run plays for him, according to Patterson. Drayton and Langsdorf both said they’re in no rush to name a starter.
“Sitting in the staff room with Coach Lang and just going over the offense and playing quarterback,” Patterson said, “I felt like he had a good grasp of what the position entails and what it takes to be successful at that position. I just felt like it was a no-brainer.”
Mathis, like Patterson, played seven games at quarterback this past season and dealt with an injury (right ankle). The 6-6, 205-pound quarterback completed 116 of 195 pass attempts, threw for six touchdowns and rushed for one more. He also threw four interceptions.
Patterson completed 55 of 101 passes with four interceptions. He threw for six touchdowns and rushed for seven.
“[We’re similar] from the standpoint of just being able to make plays with our feet,” Patterson said. “He’s probably faster than most quarterbacks and I’m probably bigger than most. So it’s like that dynamic where he’ll outrun people and I can run somebody over.
“The film they showed me when I was there … the strength coach told me that he can fly,” he added. “I watched [film of Mathis] run in practice once and yes, that man is ridiculously fast.”
Patterson hasn’t had a chance to meet Mathis in person yet. He’ll be on campus Monday for the first time since his official visit as he moves into town.
“This team has me, and regardless of my role I’m definitely 110% bought-in,” Patterson said. “If I’m running the ball 20 times a game and not playing quarterback versus me actually winning the job, so be it. [Whichever it is], I’m here to do it.”