Hutchinson Community College football coach Rion Rhoades made a major announcement prior to Thursday’s 2014 season opener against the Bethany College Junior Varsity at Gowans Stadium.
Rhoades announced via the DragonVision videoboard that Blue Dragon football will retire the No. 84 jersey of Blue Dragon All-American Cordarrelle Patterson this season.
The ceremony will take place at halftime of Hutchinson’s regular-season finale against Independence on November 8 at Gowans Stadium.
This is the first time that Blue Dragon Football will retire a jersey in the 83-year history of the program.
The Minnesota Vikings – Patterson is in his second season with the Vikings – are on their bye week that week and will allow the former Blue Dragon great to attend the ceremony.
Patterson is the first-ever first-round NFL Draft pick in program history after being taken with the 29th overall pick by the Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft.
All he did in an impressive rookie season was set an unbreakable NFL record for the longest kickoff return in league history of 109 yards against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 27. For the season, Patterson returned 43 kickoffs for an average of 32.4 yards per return, one of the best return averages in NFL history.
Midway through the season, the Vikings started using Patterson in much the same way the Blue Dragons utilized the athletically gifted player from Rock Hill, S.C.
Patterson finished his rookie season with 45 receptions for 469 yards and four touchdowns. He averages 10.4 yards per reception and had a long of 79 yards. He rushed the ball 12 times, three went for touchdowns. Patterson tallied 158 rushing yards, averaging 13.2 times per rush with a long of 50.
In addition to his NFL kickoff record, Patterson became the first NFL player in history to record a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 75-yard touchdown reception for a touchdown and a 50-yard rushing touchdown in the same season.
Patterson was only the third Blue Dragon ever to be a two-time NJCAA All-American. Patterson was also named the 2011 Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Year. When he completed his HCC career, he owned 16 career or single-season or single-game Blue Dragon Dragons records.
In 2011, Patterson caught a career-high 61 passes for 924 yards and he accounted for 1,814 all-purpose yards in helping the Blue Dragons.
The 61 receptions are a school record and the 924 yards rank fourth-best in a single season. He also set a record for single-season all-purpose yardage and had three 200-plus-yard all-purpose yardage games this season and five for his career.
Other single-season offensive records include: Scoring (144 points), total touchdowns (24), and receiving touchdowns (15).
As a kick returner, Patterson averaged an NJCAA-best and HCC single-season record 51.1 yards per return average on 12 returns with three touchdowns. Patterson owns three of the top four all-time kickoff returns with TDs of 98, 97 and 96 yards in his career. He had two kickoff returns for touchdowns against Kilgore in the 2011 season opener.
Patterson was also been a threat running the ball with 379 yards on just 32 carries (11.8 yards per rush).
Patterson accounted for 1,686 yards of all-purpose offense and averaged 17.6 yards every time he touched the football. He broke 200 all-purpose yards three times this season.
The versatile receiver scored 15 receiving touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns and three touchdowns on kickoff returns. His 15 receiving touchdowns and 24 overall touchdowns are single-season records as well as his 144 points scored in 12 games. Patterson scored touchdowns in 20 of 23 games played in his HCC career.
During his one season at Tennessee, Patterson finished with terrific all-around numbers. He had 46 catches for 778 yards and 25 carries for 308 yards. He scored 10 touchdowns, including a kickoff return and a punt return. He even completed a pass for 28 yards. Patterson was named first-team All-SEC.