Jake Elliott, kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Stephen Gostkowski, kicker for the New England Patriots, both attended the University of Memphis for their undergraduate education, but Memphis’ newest kicker, Riley Patterson, does not feel the pressure from both these alumni’s recent success when both their teams played in Super Bowl LII.
Patterson even welcomes the expectations his predecessors set.
“I’m excited to have expectations because of those before me,” Patterson said. “I’m not here to shy away from those. I don’t believe the success of someone before me is going to define what I do or what any of my teammates do. I do appreciate the emphasis on special teams here, and the standard is high. I hope I can live up to it.”
During their respective freshman years, Elliott was 24-24 in extra points and 16-18 in field goals for a total of 72 points. Gostkowski was 32-37 in extra points and 9-14 in field goals for a total of 59 points. At the end of Patterson’s first season with the Tigers, he went 11-16 in field goals and 63-64 in extra points for a total of 96 points.
Elliott was named First Team All-Conference kicker for the American Athletic Conference twice. Elliott was also the AAC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015. He kicked the fourth longest field goal in bowl game history and was named a 2015 Lou Groza Award finalist. Elliott scored 445 points in his college career and never missed any of the 202 extra points he attempted.
Gostkowski was named First Team All-Conference in 2004 and was named both First Team All-Conference and Conference Special Teams Player of the Year in 2005. He finished his college career with a total of 369 points, a school record. Gostkowski was 70-92 in field goals and 159-165 in extra points during his Tiger career.
Elliott met with Patterson and gave him insight and advice about his future as a Tiger. Patterson said Elliott was a great model on and off the field, and if there was someone he would adjust his standards to, it would be Elliott.
“I want to pick up where Elliott left off after such a great career and where we can depend on our kicker in situations where we need him,” Patterson said. “I want to be that guy, and hopefully I will be because I plan on it.”
Patterson graduated from Edwardsville High School in Edwardsville, Illinois. He was the 11th-ranked kicker by ESPN inthe 2017 recruiting class kickers. Patterson played soccer and football during his high school career.
The only extra point Patterson missed was in the matchup against then-No. 25 UCLA. After that game, Patterson was perfect on extra points.
“I’m not going to take that lightly, and it should not happen again,” Patterson said.
There was no clear starting kicker when the 2017 season began, so Patterson and punter Spencer Smith shared the position. As the season ended, Patterson became the sole kicker, but he does not think this caused any animosity between him and Smith.
“There’s no tension or anything like that between us,” Patterson said. “We’re all real close to each other, and we all hope the other does great. I always want to be the guy in the situation that the team wants to depend on. I want to be that guy. Spencer is a great guy, and I have a lot of confidence in him.”
Riley Patterson gets set to kick. Patterson made 63 extra points in his freshman season with the Tigers.
Jake Elliot gets set to kick an extra point against Houston. The former Tiger was named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award in 2015.
Stephen Gostowski gets set to kick off. The former Tiger was named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2005.