DITR: Malikk Patterson

Malikk Patterson is a class of 2022 running back/defensive back for Varnado High School in Angie, Louisiana. He is 5’7” and 170 lbs. Malikk is a speed driven running back who has the kind of vision and versatility that translates to the next level. Patterson has a long list of accolades for his play including back-to-back 1st team All District for running back and 2020 defensive MVP. Malikk is a leader for Varnado football and a leader in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA.

How long have you been playing football?

Since I was about nine. Growing up, I didn’t really look at football like I do now. Most people around me just played and so I figured I would try it out.

Which position do you prefer, RB or DB?

Running back, but I can play both sides. I have always been a defensive back for as long as I can remember. Then my junior year, the coaches tried me out on offense. I really didn’t know how talented I was on offense until they started giving me the ball, but I am glad I got the chance to show what I can do.

What did your off-season training regiment look like?

In the summer, I would start my day off with a workout on my own. After that, I would eat a great breakfast then go to my morning workout. After that, I would relax with my family until I would go do field work.

Did you have any goals for this season?

I had a number of personal goals that I wanted to achieve throughout the year. My list was two touchdowns in a game which I achieved, 150 rushing yards in a game which I achieved, 100 receiving yards in a game which I achieved, and 200 rushing yards in a game which I got really close to but didn’t quite get. The team that I play for though is small so during all these games I was also playing cornerback. 

What kind of running back would you describe yourself as? Do you feel as though you are more of an elusive back or receiving back?

I would say that I am more of an elusive back because I am usually using my quickness and breakaway speed to get past defenders. I feel that I have great vision for my spot and I have some sort of power but I definitely prefer to be in open space.

What is your favorite part about playing running back?

Just the feeling of being able to run. When I am running I just feel free. I can’t explain it really, it is just straight happiness for me when I break through a hole and no one is around me. It makes me feel like I am a little kid playing at recess again.

What is your most memorable moment on the field?

During my ninth grade year, I was starting at cornerback but I didn’t really have a lot of confidence even though I had a good year. I remember one game we were playing the previous year’s state championship team and in that game I got an interception. In that game, that feeling of being able to compete against some of the best is a feeling that is very memorable to me.

How would your teammates describe you?

I think they would describe me as a leader, but more like a big brother that they never had. I feel like they see me as a person that they can trust whether it is on the field or off the field. I am someone who they can lean on, someone that they can talk to whatever they want about.

What is a part of your game that you feel will translate to the next level?

I think that my vision and my quickness is what sets me apart on the field. However, my mindset is the thing about me that will translate most to the next level. My toughness, my dedication, and my determination are what have gotten me to this point and I am always going to keep that mindset, it doesn’t matter where I go.

What is a part of your game that you feel like you need to get better at?

I think my footwork is something that I need to improve. I have pretty good footwork but I feel like my cuts can be even quicker. It was something that I was working on a lot this off-season with different footwork drills just to try and build more consistency.

 Do you have any role models who have inspired you?

My favorite player growing up was Dalvin Cook back when he was at Florida State. I remember back then I was in middle school and I would watch his FSU highlights everyday. Other than that, I remember people used to call me Alvin Kamara because I was wearing 41 and he was another one of my favorite running backs. Those are two guys who I have watched and tried to replicate some of their game out on the field.

What are you thinking pre-snap?

Every play, I am always thinking about my execution. I go over which way I am running, which hole I should hit, and how do I get there as fast and powerful as possible. I know if I get past the first level of the defensive line, I can make linebackers and defensive backs miss to get a touchdown. It all depends on if I get to where I need to be, so that’s what I try and focus on, just executing and keeping it simple.

What is something that recruiters should know about you?

That I am a hard worker. I am a person who never gives up, I want to compete at everything that I do. I’m dedicated to this game and I want to listen and learn so that I can be a better version of myself on the field.

What is a time you went through significant adversity and how did you get through it?

Every game presents a new form of adversity. Plenty of times throughout the season, I would be on defense giving it my all and make a tackle, but get a stinger. I know in that moment that it is just temporary pain and my team needs me on offense. You just have to fight every play.

Why do you play football?

I love it. I love the field, I love the atmosphere, and I love the feeling of being able to run free. Football is great to me, it can be a way for me to go to school for free, a way to feed my family, just a way to make it out, and make my family proud.

Do you think football has affected you as a person?

Definitely, football inspired me to change the way that I live in some form. I never really thought about lifting weights or eating right before I started playing football. Now, I am working out two to three times a day and I have completely changed my diet. I have cut out all junk food and it has been hard but I have definitely seen results because of it.

Has football taught you any valuable lessons?

It taught me that nothing is promised. You have to go out there and give everything you have at all times because you never know when it is going to be your last time on the field.

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